Official: Discarded cigarette cause of building fire in New Britain

Published on Thursday, 28 December 2017 21:42
Written by Skyler Frazer


NEW BRITAIN - With temperatures in the single-digits and a wind chill dropping temperatures even lower, firefighters responded to structure fire at 140 Black Rock Ave. Thursday morning.

New Britain firefighters responded to a call at 10:31 a.m. regarding a fire at the three-family home and were on the scene two minutes later.

The fire started on the third floor, caused by discarded smoking materials, the city’s interim fire chief Peter Margentino said. Margentino said that someone in the third floor apartment attempted to throw out their cigarette, but, unbeknownst to them, the wind blew the cigarette underneath the siding of the building, causing the blaze.

Fire damage was confined to the third floor and the attic but the first and second floors sustained water damage.

Ladder 1 and Ladder 2 were on the scene along with Engine 2, Engine 4 and Engine 8, and firefighters from Bristol and Southington provided mutual aid during the fire. Twenty firefighters fought the blaze, which was under control in less than an hour.

All occupants of the building were outside by the time firefighters responded and no residents or firefighters were injured.

The Red Cross arrived to help the people displaced by the fire. The second-floor occupants were on vacation at the time of the fire. Margentino did not confirm that the building would be deemed condemned, but said there was quite a bit of damage to the property.

“Our guys did a great job today. They were up against some tough conditions with the high winds and extreme cold,” Margentino told The Herald.

Margentino said he wants to remind all residents to have at least one working fire alarm on every level of their home.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Thursday, 28 December 2017 21:42. Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2017 21:45.