Fairfield, CT - On Tuesday afternoon, March 12, Fairfield Firefighters responded to a report of smoke coming from a roof at 176 Fairfield Place. The call was made to the Fairfield ECC by a neighbor who also reported workers on the roof attempting to put out a fire with a garden hose.
Lt. Brian McHugh and Fairfield Engine 4 arrived first on scene and confirmed this report, noting that heavy smoke was coming from the attic area. Assisted by firefighters from Engine 4, Engine 1 and Rescue 1, he stretched a hose line to the second floor, opened up walls and the ceiling, quickly exposing and extinguishing the fire. Asst. Chief George Gomola arrived on scene and took command. Firefighters from Ladder 2 and Engine 2 laddered the building and cut a hole in the roof, allowing the smoke and heat trapped inside the attic to escape. Chief McCarthy and Deputy Chief Dunn arrived on scene to assist. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Fire Marshal Phil Higgins. Building Official Tom Conley also responded.
According to Chief Gomola, the incident commander, “quick action by Lt. McHugh confined the fire to the attic area and prevented the wind-driven fire from burning off the roof and consuming the second floor. The delay caused by the workers on scene attempting to control the fire themselves instead of calling 911 and reporting the fire created a very dangerous situation for the workers and for firefighters. It is extremely important to notify 911 immediately when there is a fire or other emergency!”
Mutual aid coverage was provided by Bridgeport and Westport Fire Departments relocated to Fairfield fire stations while Fairfield Firefighters worked to extinguish the fire. No Injuries were reported, and the last unit left the scene shortly before 6 PM.
ATTACHED PHOTOS: Fairfield Fire Department at work (Photo 1 - Firefighter George Heath and Will Malkin open up a hole on the roof to allow smoke and heat to vent. Photo 2 – smoke coming from hole in roof.)