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Firefighters make 'great' stop at New London apartment complex

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New London — A resident who heard cracking and popping called in a blaze that firefighters contained to a single apartment at 70 Farmington Ave. Monday, Chief Tom Curcio said.

Curcio said the caller, who lives in Apt. 3M, probably had heard windows breaking in the apartment above, Apt. 4M. Flames were shooting from the windows when firefighters arrived around 4:40 a.m.

Curcio said while it was "a long stretch" for firefighters to reach the flames, they knocked down the bulk of the blaze within 15 minutes.

Firefighters also doused joists between the ceiling and the roof so the fire didn't spread, Curcio said. He said the complex, known as Farmington Arms, doesn't have sprinklers.

Curcio said one Poquonnock Bridge firefighter received a minor hand laceration.

Fire Marshal Vernon Skau said while flames damaged just Apt. 4M, smoke and water damaged "several" other apartments.

Curcio said firefighters aren't yet sure how many people will have to relocate. He said two SEAT buses gave 20 to 30 tenants a warm place to stay while fire inspectors worked.

The American Red Cross is assisting affected residents.

The elevator at the four-story complex has been out of service since about mid-December and could be down for months to come, The Day reported last month. Skau said the problem didn't affect evacuation Monday because elevators aren't used during fires, but officials did call for more manpower to help everyone get out.

Naval Submarine Base fighters and ambulances from Groton and Waterford also responded. Waterford firefighters were standing by should another emergency break out in the city.

"They did a great job," Curcio said. "Staffing matters."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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