MERIDEN — Two separate accidental fires that occurred about nine hours apart on Atkins Street left a dozen people displaced and damaged and destroyed a Chevrolet Corvette.
A fire at a multi-family house at 92 Atkins St. late Tuesday night displaced 12 residents, including four children, according to fire officials. One person suffered a minor burn, but declined treatment. The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m.
Hours later, a fire inside a garage at 85 Atkins St. destroyed the Corvette.
Fire Marshal Steve Trella said both fires are considered accidental.
“I’m going to chalk it up as a coincidence,” he said. “These two have nothing in common.”
The fire at 92 Atkins St. started on a second-floor balcony, where a resident said they were smoking about an hour and a half prior. A plastic bucket used to discard cigarettes caught fire, Trella said. The fire spread to the balcony and the vinyl siding before it was extinguished. The blaze also damaged electrical wiring. Two families, including four children, were displaced.
Hours later, a garage and the car inside were damaged in a fire at 85 Atkins St. Trella said a charger for a car battery malfunctioned. The fire was reportedly extinguished about 9:30 a.m. Assistant Fire Chief Robert Burdick said there were no reported injuries.
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