At 1:33 a.m. the Orange Volunteer Fire Department was toned out for a mutual aid call in Shelton/Derby.
Not exactly as close as Woodbridge or Milford where our guys are usually called for assistance, but when all of Shelton’s firefighters are occupied trying to save one building, someone has to provide coverage for the city.
The fire was in an old building that you most likely have seen if you’ve ever driven down Howe Avenue.
It’s the area of Howe Ave. near the Subway Sandwich shop with, apartments in the upper floors.
Orange brought three trucks to the valley, including the ladder truck that had been requested.
While they were standing by at a fire house, Orange was called out to a home on Division Street in Shelton (or Derby) for an activated fire alarm.
UPDATE: (paraphrased from WTNH report)
The fire broke out around midnight and firefighters had to work fast to rescue residents who were trapped in the upstairs apartments. Within 30 minutes part of the upper floor collapsed into the ground floor business. At least 5 people were transported to the hospital.
About 30 people have been displaced.
The gas company was called to turn off the gas supply to the building.
Frozen fire hydrants and a water main break near Howe Ave. and Bridge St. made the firefight that much more difficult.
NOTE: The best coverage of this incident comes from the Hartford Courant.
This is what our guys do. Leave their homes at any time, day or night to help others. We’re lucky to have them, and this morning, the Valley towns were lucky to have them.
Soon after returning to Orange, the OVFD responded to calls here.