Apartment on fire with three people possibly trapped inside on Broadway Road, Darien
A structure fire with possible injuries is reported at 1363 Broadway Road. There are flames coming from the basement of an apartment building and there are three people trapped inside. Darien Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.
UPDATE 4:47 a.m.: All occupants are out of the building. It is a two-story wooden structure with flames now shooting out of the second story. The incident has gone to a second alarm, with two engines and a rescue unit from Corfu called to scene along with the city's Fast Team and equipment from Alexander. A fill-in crew from East Pembroke is requested to Corfu's Fire Hall. Traffic is being shut down at Route 77 and Warner Road.
UPDATE 5:04 a.m.: Traffic is also being shut down at Route 77 and Harlow Road.
UPDATE 5:56 a.m.: The fire is showing periodic flames at this point and heavy smoke. Interior crews from Pembroke and Indian Falls are called in.
UPDATE 6:19 a.m.: Town of Batavia fire is requested to the scene in emergency mode, to stage in Darien Fire Hall.
UPDATE 6:30 a.m.: Flames and heavy smoke still spewing from the structure, which is quite old and has "balloon construction." This is frustrating the firefighters' efforts to douse the blaze. They put out flames in one spot and the fire climbs up the wall to another place. Alabama is asked to fill in at Indian Falls Fire Hall.
UPDATE 6:49 a.m.: There were
four six residents in this building comprised of five apartments. All got out safely, but one man's dog perished in the fire. Two of the tenants are volunteer firefighters for Darien and both were both home at the time.
UPDATE 7:47 a.m.: Howard, who is at the scene, interviewed one of the two volunteer firefighters, Joshua Reeb. Here's some of what he said:
"I was sleeping in my bed and my roommate, who happened to be awake, busted in my door, opened my door and said 'Come on, come on out. There's smoke. It smells like fire.' I woke up my girlfriend and said 'Grab your purse. You've got to go out the window.' I wasn't even going to try the door. I'm not going to risk it with that much smoke.
"I went to check on my neighbor -- he's older -- to make sure he could get out. He couldn't get out the front door so he went out the fire escape, which is connected to my neighbor's window. I came down the fire escape and made sure to get everybody out of the house. Got in my truck and went to the fire hall and got the (fire) truck prepped."
He credits his firefighting training with helping him to stay calm and provide direction. The other firefighter, "Paul," did likewise. Unlike another neighbor, Paul was able to save his dog. After making sure the occupants were safe, both went to the hall, which is just around the corner, to get things "ready to rock."
UPDATE 7:50 a.m.: They are still battling the fire, but there are fewer flames and a lot less smoke.
UPDATE 8 a.m.: The owner occupies the main apartment and has lived there 30 years. He's a mechanic and in his basement were a fully restored Jeep and a fully restored Harley-Davidson motorcycle and two other Jeeps that he was in the middle of restoring. All gone now.
UPDATE 8:09 a.m.: The Darien fire chief says the fire is knocked down. Overhauling the structure.
UPDATE 1:29 p.m.: The fire has reignited in some places and Darien Fire Department is responding.
The fire was not actually put out at 8:09. There were flames shooting out of the roof at 9:33 There is still smoke coming from the east side of the roof.
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The chief said the fire is "knocked down," which is different from "out" to the firefighting experts. It means they've got a handle on it and it's close to being extinguished. The aftermath of smoke and underlying embers can go on for some time.