A quick moving and smoky fire trapped a homeowner in his basement before he was pulled to safety by a Berlin firefighter Friday afternoon.
The call went out for a house fire at 88 Hawthorne Drive, off the Berlin Turnpike, just south of Hawthorne Inn in the Silver Ridge development. All four of Berlin's fire companies responded with mutual aid from Meriden and Cromwell and Northeast Utilities.
The firefighters were met by the female occupant of the house and she told the firefighters her husband was trapped in the basement, officials said.
Flames and smoke were evident upon the firefighters arrival and there was heavy smoke and water damage in the end unit of the duplex.
The male, who was pulled from the basement, was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital. Fire officials said the man was in good shape before he left to go to the hospital. His wife accompanied him.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
There is only one point of entrance and exit at the Silver Ridge complex. With fire apparatus and emergency vehicles taking up the whole road, there was no way for neighbors, even those who lived a quarter mile away, to get out of the complex or to return home.
One neighbor said, "Ask the firemen what would happen here if there was an emergency and someone had a heart attack somewhere else in the complex at the same time? There is only one way in and out and they blocked the whole road. I don't mind waiting to get out but this is a poorly designed plan and it worries me."