‘I’m feeling broken.’ Effort underway to help Bridgeport family who lost everything in fire
Jozef Mysliwiec is still healing physically from the fire that left him with burns to his face, ear, and hand. But it's the emotional weight of what happened that's most painful.
“Right now, everything is hard. Everything is hard,” Mysliwiec told News 12. “I'm feeling broken.”
On Nov. 20, Mysliwiec returned to his home in Bridgeport around noon for lunch. He said he and his wife have lived on Sunburst Road for 30 years.
“I see the smoke and flames in my bedroom, and my mistake, you know, I open the door, and the flames go fast out from the bedroom,” Mysliwiec recalled, adding that it was like an explosion.
Fire crews responded and worked to put out the flames. But officials said hoarding conditions added to the fire's quick spread and made it difficult to determine the cause. The Red Cross is helping Mysliwiec and his family, but the need is overwhelming.
“The fire or smoke or water damaged almost everything,” he said.
The fire was just the latest setback for Mysliwiec. He said his brother, who lived there, died from cancer in September, so he took his brother's ashes back to their native country of Poland. He was there for six weeks attending to his brother's affairs. Mysliwiec said during his time away, his homeowner’s insurance lapsed.
“He lost everything,” explained Stanley Wadolowski, who organized a fundraising effort for Mysliwiec. “We own a roadside assistance company here in Connecticut, and Jozef works for us helping people on the road.”
Wadolowski described Mysliwiec as a hard worker who now needs the community more than ever.
“We really want to reach out to the people to support this cause,” Wadolowski said.