May 31, 2023

Nov. 21–BRIDGEPORT — City firefighters saved a 93-year-old woman from a burning house on Bennett Street Wednesday night.

Firefighters were called to 214 Bennett St. about 10:15 p.m. and when they arrived found heavy fire and smoke coming from the back of the building. An 87-year-old man who’d escaped the house told firefighters his upstairs neighbor was possibly still inside, said Bill Kaempffer, a city spokesman.

Firefighter Bobby Hernandez of Ladder 11 and Firefighter Richard Messer of Rescue 5 made their way to the smoke-filled second floor and and into the woman’s apartment. When they reached her bedroom door, it was locked from the inside. The firefighters smashed their way through it and found the woman, unconscious, in her bed.

They grabbed her and started carrying her downstairs when she woke up and started struggling. Lt. Neil Carr of Engine 4 helped the two firefighters carry her the rest of the way to safety, Kaempffer said.

Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Martin praised the firefighters for their efforts and said they “absolutely” saved her life.

“These were difficult conditions,” Martin said. “The apartment was filled with smoke. There was no visibility. This was crawling and feeling.”

The woman and man were taken to Bridgeport Hospital, and were conscious and alert when transported, Kaempffer said.

“The courage of our firefighters never ceases to amaze me,” Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said. “They risk their lives to protect our kids and families — and in this case saved a 93-year-old woman who would not have survived were it not for their efforts.”

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