Less than two hours after the first call came into the Shelton Fire Department late Sunday evening, a four-story mixed use building, at 434 Howe Avenue, came down like a house of cards. But, while eight businesses and twenty four apartments were destroyed, nobody was seriously hurt.
“You just say wow. It really is unbelievable. The fact that we have no reported injuries, it’s a miracle,” said Nick Verdicchio, Assistant Fire Chief.
The Echo Hose Hook and Ladder Company Number 1, located a block from the blaze, was used by the American Red Cross to process about 25 of the 28 individuals that were displaced by the fire.
“We gave them a client assistance card, which will have a certain amount of money for food, clothing winter items, that sort of thing. We will also process them further with the lodging card,” said Geoff Harris, American Red Cross.
Mary Porter, who runs a business called No Vet Left Behind, was at the fires station to visit with nearly 10 veterans who lost everything in the fire.
“We start working on their housing and money and everything tonight and, God willing, tomorrow I will have at least housing for them,” said Porter, an Army veteran.
By 6:00 Monday evening, United illuminating expected to have power restored to nearly 1,100 customers in the dark in the vicinity of the fire on Howe Avenue and the adjacent Coram Avenue, where the library and Echo Hose Company are located.
Echo hose is asking that those interested in helping the displaced residents bring non perishable food , clothing and toiletries to their fire house at 379 Coram Avenue, Shelton.