Firefighters battling large blaze at Arch Street building

Published on Friday, 9 February 2018 08:53
Written by LISA BACKUS


NEW BRITAIN - Firefighters are still battling a large blaze at an Arch Street building that was condemned last week.

Flames can still be seen licking the roof of 408 Arch St. at 7:30 a.m.

All residential tenants were forced out of the building Feb. 1 as building and fire inspectors noted several code violations and closed the address down.

Property owner Saul Berger was forced to pay the tenants a settlement Monday so they could find new permanent lodgings. City officials had to scramble Saturday after Berger's credit card was denied at the local hotel where tenants were housed after the condemnation.

Tenants were living in squalid conditions with deteriorating plaster falling from the ceiling of the front stairwell and mold in the bathrooms. Many said during frigid temperatures they had to huddle in one room of their apartments to stay warm because the heating to the building couldn't keep up.

The building was empty of tenants other than a barbershop and small bodega on the first floor when the blaze started early this morning.

Dispatchers said the smoke from the fire could be seen as far as Broad Street. Firefighters were still battling the blaze as of 8 a.m.

Firefighters from West Hartford, Hartford and Bristol were called in to man New Britain stations.

Check back for updates.

Posted in New Britain Herald, on Friday, 9 February 2018 08:53. Updated: Friday, 9 February 2018 08:55.