Release: # 17-005
Date: March 17, 2017
Contact: Deputy Chief Gary Merwede
At 0642 hrs. a structure fire assignment was dispatched to 125 Putnam Avenue (also known as the Davenport Residence) for a reported apartment fire. Hamden Central Communications received both 911 calls and a report from the fire alarm company that services the property. The Davenport Residence is an 8 story building with 217 apartments, housing mostly senior citizens.
Both the Incident Commander and first Engine Company (E2) arrived at 0646 hrs. Multiple elderly residents were in the process of evacuating the building and required assistance. The fire was determined to be in apartment 313. Simultaneous suppression and evacuation operations were initiated. Several residents were physically carried from stairwells by firefighters. Incident Commander Ronald Desroches called for a second alarm and all remaining Hamden Fire companies were dispatched to the scene. The fire was under control at approximately 0725.
American Medical Response was asked to set-up a triage center in the adjoining 135 Putnam Dunbar Residence. AMR paramedics triaged more than 40 elderly residents, with one elderly female patient requiring transport for exposure to smoke and cold temperatures. The Hamden CERT Team was activated and assisted with displaced residents during operations. Several disabled residents were protected in place in apartments or designated areas of refuge by firefighters above the fire floor.
The fire was contained to the room of origin. Companies worked to ventilate smoke, carbon monoxide and the other products of combustion on floors 3 – 8. The ventilation operation took more than an hour following suppression. After firefighters metered for a safe atmosphere, residents were escorted back to their apartments by Hamden CERT.
Activation of the building’s sprinkler system held the fire in check and allowed firefighters to stop the fire spread to additional floors and apartments. The fire alarm system performed according to design and alerted the occupant of the fire apartment and all building residents of the emergency. Due to these fire protection systems, the resident in 313 and others on the fire floor were able to make it to the stairwell and either self-evacuate or await assistance from firefighters.
Deputy Fire Marshal Tim Lunn determined during his investigation that the origin of this fire was most likely an overheated extension cord. A photo of the cord is attached to this release. For additional information on the investigation, please contact the Hamden Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-407-3181.
The management of the Davenport Residence is relocating any resident displaced by this emergency due to fire, water or smoke damage to vacant apartments elsewhere in the complex.
E2, R2, E3, Tower 1, Squad1, E5, R1, E9, Car 1, Car 2, Car 3 (IC), Car 4 (Operations) Hamden CERT
Hamden Vol. E7 was staffed for coverage and additional calls.