Fire hits Roodner Court
Posted on 11/19/2010
By STEVE KOBAK
Norwalk Hour Staff Writer
Eight residents of the Roodner Court housing complex were displaced and three people were hospitalized Thursday afternoon after a fire ripped through an apartment in building 23, sending heavy smoke into the second and third floors. Apartment 2E was destroyed by the fire, and smoke damaged an apartment on the third-floor and two apartments on the second floor, according to Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. Three people were taken to Norwalk Hospital to be treated for possible smoke inhalation, McCarthy said. The fire began at approximately 3:45 p.m. in apartment 2E, and fire crews remained on scene for more than three hours. Firefighters battled the heavy smoke to put out the blaze and had to force their way into apartments on the third floor to see if anyone hadn't made it out of the building, fire officials said. Monica Holley -- the tenant of apartment 2E -- lost her home and all of her belongings in the fire, and her friend Erika Lucas said she is planning a fundraiser for Holley. Anthony Williams said his sister, Erica Wiggins, his 98-year-old grandmother, Hazel Fuller, his son, Delquan Howard, and his cousin Shaquaya Fuller were inside of Hazel Fuller's second-floor apartment when the fire started. Heavy smoke flooded the apartment, trapping Hazel Fuller and Wiggins inside, Williams said. Firefighters helped Fuller get out the building via a fire escape while Wiggins was taken from the building on a stretcher, Williams said. Both women were taken to Norwalk Hospital to be treated for smoke . . inhalation. Another unidentified person was also taken to the hospital. "I'm just glad they were able to all get out safe," said Williams. "Now, we're just waiting to see what comes next." Davidson Zetrenne was sleeping in his first-floor apartment in building 23 when he heard a commotion, looked out the window and saw a large amount of black smoke near the building. He quickly grabbed his 54-year-old mother, Marie Zetrenne, and led her from the building. "I feel bad for whoever's apartment is messed up, but at least it's not worse," Zetrenne said. Manisha Laguerre, who lives on the second floor, walked through a smoke-filled hallway to make her way from the building, and she said the situation was "very scary." "I was crying," she said. The American Red Cross is putting five displaced families in a hotel, according to Deidra Davis, president of the Roodner Court Tenants Association. Davis said the Norwalk Housing Authority will have to deoderize apartments that were not damaged but where smoke is heavy in the air.
The Norwalk Fire Department is also accepting donations for the fire victims at Charles A. Volk Fire Headquarters, 121 Connecticut Ave. For more information on the donations, call (203) 854-0238.