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Fire chief: 'There is nothing easy about it'

By JOE CENTERS • Updated Jan 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM

The smell of smoke lingered in the Norwalk Fire Department Friday afternoon.

Nobody ever said the job would be easy, and it certainly wasn’t on this day for the department.

Three adults died Friday in an early-morning fire on 8 Park Ridge Court. Fire Chief John Soisson said the three probably were dead by the time firefighters arrived.

“This is a tough day for the whole community,” Soisson said. “Any fire fatality is a tragedy. But to lose three people from a family in one fire is tough on the community. Tough on the guys. Tough on everybody.”

Soisson said in his career the department has never been involved in a multiple-fatility fire. There have been single fatalities, but never anything like this.

“When we got there, and you don’t know the house, we aggressively went to the bedroom areas and were able to get in there,” he said. “It was really hot. The guys were able to find all three of them and get them downstairs where we could determine and try to do whatever type of rescue we could, but unfortunately it was too late when we got there.”

There are very few fire fatalities in Norwalk.

“That’s just the business we are in. Fires are a brutal thing and everybody is a snap of a finger away from tragedy. Our condolences and hearts go out to the family. There is nothing easy about it. The guys take this seriously and it’s hard on the guys. We appreciate all the help we got.

“We had North Central (EMS) down there. We had both Milan and Huron River fire. State fire marshal’s office and the police department helped us with the investigation. It’s truly a team effort and we appreciate all of those guys and the help we get from them.”

The house was fully engulfed when the 9-1-1 call came into the dispatcher. A neighbor who called said it didn’t look good from the very beginning.

Soisson said no cause has been determined, but he doesn’t think it is suspicious.

“We brought the state fire marshal in and they narrowed down an area where the fire started but the cause is undetermined,” he said.

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