The building manager of a four-family apartment at 223 Bridge Street said City of Groton firefighters arrived within minutes of the emergency call Tuesday night, and had they not, the building could have been lost.
"They saved it," said Izzy Davila. "They really did."
The Red Cross is helping seven people, including two children, displaced after the fire.
No one was injured in the fire and firefighters put out the blaze in minutes, said Captain Mark Cassidy, of the Groton City Fire Department. But fire gutted the kitchen.
Davila said the apartment where the fire began will probably have to be rebuilt. The kitchen is destroyed, and damage extends to other rooms.
"You can't paint over that smoke," he said Wednesday. "These walls are already soaked in water."
Due to the rapid response of firefighters, the upstairs tenant does not have smoke damage in her apartment, Davila said. He said they arrived immediately after the tenant on the phone with emergency dispatch hung up.
Cassidy said a call came in about the fire at 8:01 p.m., and firefighters found a grease fire that had extended from the stove to the kitchen itself.
He said the apartment’s residents were out of the building and no one had to be rescued.
“We’re going to try to get people back into two units today,” he said, but added that unit that burned is not habitable.
The fire appeared to be accidental, he said.
Paul D. Shipman, chief communication officer for the American Red Cross, said the agency was providing housing, food and clothing to five adults and two children from four families after the fire.
The Red Cross also provided comfort kits with personal care items such as toothbrushes. Children's kits included a stuffed toy.