A smoky fire that apparently broke out in the living room gutted the second floor of a ranch home on Exeter Street in the north end of Bridgeport on Friday morning.
Owner April Barron huddled with her family on the driveway, watching more than 20 firefighters pour in and out of the home with pickaxes and airpacks.
“I just thank the Lord that my kids are safe, we’re all out safe,” she said. “God bless the fire department.”
Assistant Chief Richard Thode said the house is not inhabitable and that the three residents will have to be relocated. Volunteers from the American Red Cross are providing assistance, Thode said.
“We don’t know the cause yet, but it does not appear to be suspicious,” Thode said.
School buses wound through the narrow streets of the neighborhood off of Chopsey Hill Road while firefighters battled the blaze shortly after 8 a.m.
Pink insulation torn from the walls hung out of charred windows in the living room. Glass from the large picture window was lying on the shrubs and along the window frame.
The house is set back from the street down a long driveway, which has two other houses along it. Firefighters said they had been out to Exeter Street, to the house next door, for a blaze some time ago. That house has been restored.
Bridgeport tax records show the single-family house at 123 Exeter Street is owned by April Barron. It has an assessed value of $181,640. The two-story, wooden house has 1,532 feet of living space. The house, standing on a small lot, was built in 1989.
It was the second fire in Bridgeport on Friday morning.
At 6:34 a.m., firefighters responded to a blaze at a vacant house at 122 George St. Assistant Chief Robert Morton said firefighters encountered heavy fire on the first floor.
Fighting the blaze was labor intensive for firefighters, who had to remove plywood from windows and doors to access the fire, department spokesman William Kaempffer said. No one was injured and no other houses were damaged.
“The firefighters worked hard and did a great job,” Morton said.