Fire damages home in eastern Bridgeport

A fire tore through the first floor of a home in the city’s East End, but some quick thinking by two neighbors helped a man inside escape the Thursday night blaze without any injury.

London Ellerby and his wife Andrea were closing up their business, L & A Liquor Store, near the corner of Stratford and Hollister Avenues, when they noticed smoke and flames pouring out of a white, two-story home across the street.

The pair ran into the burning house to find the man inside and tell him he needed to get out.

“I saw the smoke and everything and I went up and starting calling his name, trying to get him out,” London Ellerby said. “Thank God he’ll be alright.”

Back on the other side of the street, Madison Dawnson and Shanell Johnson were among several people who called for help, sending several fire and police units rushing to the scene around 9:25 p.m. Thursday.

The two Sacred Heart University students were dropping off a friend when they saw the situation unfolding before them.

“We saw the smoke and flames coming from the back,” Johnson said. “We were scared to go across the street. There was smoke blowing and they went inside and got him.”

Bridgeport Asst. Fire Chief John Mazza confirmed that the man was unhurt, but he said the man would have to go elsewhere Thursday night because the first floor of the home was significantly damaged and investigators were still working to figure out what caused the blaze.

He said the fire started in the back of the first floor and had spread to the second and third floors. Fire crews were able to put the flames out in about 20 minutes and only residual smoke could be seen wafting out the third floor windows as they began to clean up and investigate.

Mazza said the man inside had found another place to stay Thursday night.

“He’s one lucky guy,” Mazza said of the man who escaped.

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Wes Duplantier