Winooski fire that damaged 3 buildings sends 1 to hospital

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:44 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 1:15 PM EST
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WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) - A fire early Tuesday morning in Winooski damaged three buildings and injured one person.

Winooski fire officials say it happened around 4:30 a.m. at two businesses -- 246 and 248 Main Street -- and a neighboring apartment at 8 Steven Street.

Calito Amvois lives across the street and missed the fire by only minutes on his way to work around 4 a.m.

“When I leave, everything-- it was OK,” he said.

But then he says he got a text from his girlfriend that their neighboring building was up in flames.

“She texted me, ‘Oh my god, something is going on.’ Fifteen fire trucks and lots of police,” Amvois said.

“We had three different structures on fire,” Winooski Fire Chief John Audy said.

He says the five-alarm blaze brought in 12 to 14 departments from as far as South Hero and Shelburne.

“We know it started at 246 Main so that is where we are focusing our investigation,” Audy said.

Authorities say 10-15 residents have been displaced from the residential building. One person was sent to the hospital.

Audy says the three structures sustained significant damage and he credits working fire detectors in the apartment.

“Fire alarms did alert some of the people in their homes. So, super important to have detection in their homes,” he said.

Amvois says they feel for their fellow neighbors displaced by the fire and want to help if they can.

“It could be us, so I think we feel a little lucky but at the same time it could be anyone in that situation,” he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Vermont Arson Tip Line at 1-800-32-ARSON.