Firefighters encounter heavy smoke at house fire

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New Haven 3rd alarm 55 Benton St. dwelling fire 
01/05/20 New Haven, CT – A reported basement fire in the city’s Westville section turned out firefighters just before eight p.m. Engine 15 arrived reporting smoke showing from a 1 1/2-story private dwelling. As companies began their operations, they were soon hampered by Collyers Mansion conditions in the basement. Companies tried to make a push, but were unable to gain headway on the fire. A second alarm was transmitted as a heavy smoke condition pushed from the entire dwelling. Companies were withdrawn from the dwelling to regroup with a new attack. Members of Rescue 1 soon reported they were trying to make a push in the basement, but had fire over their heads. Chief of Department Alston immediately ordered the emergency evacuation of the basement. Several members narrowly escaped the flash over-like conditions in the basement as maydays were transmitted. A third alarm was transmitted on the box as members were now ordered to go to defensive operations. The fire soon took hold of the first floor and extended throughout. Multiple hand lines worked for more than two hours to bring the fire under control. One firefighter and one civilian were transported to local hospitals. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 
Glenn Duda, CFPA

several shots are of the mayday as it happened