GREENWICH, Conn. – UPDATED 1:30 P.M. A fire destroyed a multifamily home on Ritch Avenue in Greenwich early Thursday, leaving three families homeless, according Deputy Fire Marshall Rob Natale.
The fire began at about 4 a.m. at 66 Ritch Ave., and took two hours to get under control.
According to Natale, two people were taken to Greenwich Hospital for smoke inhalation, but were not seriously hurt.
Three residential units were severely damaged by the fire. The building shares an address with a business at 99 Hamilton Ave. That business suffered water damage and could potentially be salvageable, according Natale
"You'll never hear the tenants say this, obviously, but from a firefighting standpoint we call it a good stop," Natale said. "It could have been a lot worse. We're not going to anyone's funeral."
Eight people in total were displaced from their homes. Two dogs died in the fire.
The fire began in the living room of the second floor apartment, but the exact cause is still under investigation, Natale said.
The building is currently unsafe to occupy, but Natale said it would be up to insurance companies as to whether or not the damage would be considered a "total loss."
"A lot of the personal belongings were saved or untouched," Natale said. "A good portion of the structure has been affected, but what was not affected [by fire] was affected by water."
Hamilton Avenue had to be shut down temporarily Thursday morning in addition to Ritch Avenue, as the back end of the burned home faces that road, fire officials said. Hamilton Avenue has since been reopened.