Fire leaves 75 Hartford residents without a home - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Fire leaves 75 Hartford residents without a home


Officials with the American Red Cross increased the number affected by a massive blaze in Hartford's south end to 75 people, who are now homeless after the fire started in the carport.

Witnesses reported a vehicle fire under a covered portion of 755 Wethersfield Ave. just before 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Four cars were burned beyond recognition and the flames shot up to the first floor. Then, the smoke from that fire rose higher and all the units in the building were damaged.

"They told me, I'll be out a couple of weeks I think," said Salvatore Visicale, who was examining the damage to his second-floor apartment on Monday.

Crews cut wood and boarded up homes on Monday, while plumbers, who were covered in soot, replaced pipes. The whole restoration process is expected to last into April. While repairs are being made to the building, Red Cross officials will be helping those affected.

Visicale said he is jumping from hotel to hotel.

"Last night I stayed at a Days Inn," Visicale said. "Tonight I need to find another place."

As Visicale sets out to find another hotel, he said he was trying to grab some of his belongings and see the destruction on Monday. Visicale said he can only think of what could've been.

"Thank God that I'm safe and my son is safe," Visicale said. "That's the only thing I can say." 

There was no fire suppression system in the garage at 755 Wethersfield Ave. Eyewitness News talked with the city and Hartford officials said in this case, one may not have been needed because of the space between the garage and the building itself.

However, officials said they will investigate that angle to see if there was enough space to skirt around that code.

As for the cause, it's still being investigated, but some residents believe it was intentionally set.

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