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CT Home Being Renovated Suffers 'Catastrophic' Damage After Blaze Breaks Out

A 'catastrophic fire destroyed a historic home in West Hartford.
A 'catastrophic fire destroyed a historic home in West Hartford. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A Connecticut home undergoing renovations was destroyed by a "catastrophic" early morning fire that took firefighters at least an hour to get under control.

The West Hartford Fire Department responded to the fire at 711 Prospect Ave., around 6:24 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, said Fire Chief Greg H. Priest. 

When firefighters arrived on the scene they found flames visible from the second floor have heavy fire from several dies of the single-family home located in an area that is known for its older historic homes, the chief said.

As units were preparing for a search/rescue and fire attack, additional information from neighbors was provided that no one was currently occupying the residence but that work was being done on it, Priest said.

West Hartford fire crews immediately initiated an aggressive interior fire attack. Crews were faced with extensive fire conditions and determined that there were portions of the residence that were structurally unstable due to either fire conditions or renovations. 

 After conducting a primary search and determining there was no one in the residence in the areas where they were able to access, fire crews remained in heavy fire conditions for about 45 minutes attempting to stop the fire. 

"Unfortunately, due to the volume of fire, the structural issues, and that it was unlikely that anyone was in the residence, they transitioned to a defensive attack, applying water from the outside, for the remainder of the fire," the chief said.

The fire was placed under control around 9 a.m.

No injuries were reported to responders. The residence suffered catastrophic damage due to fire, smoke, and water damage. 

Currently, the cause of the fire is under investigation by the West Hartford Fire Marshal’s office.

The department was assisted by American Medical Response, numerous members of the West Hartford Police Department, the MDC, Eversource, and CNG utility crews, as well as several departments including Hartford, New Britain, and the UConn Fire Department.

"We greatly value and appreciate the assistance of our fire service mutual aid partners as well as the assistance of the West Hartford Police and AMR," Priest said. 

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