Fire, Building Collapse in Shelton - NBC Connecticut

Fire, Building Collapse in Shelton



    An overnight fire in Shelton destroyed apartments and local businesses. (Published Monday, Jan. 6, 2014)

    Five people were rushed to the hospital to be treated after a fire and a building collapse in Shelton.

    Fire crews responded to the building at 446 Howe Avenue around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday.  Firefighters are still at the scene 11 hours later and roads are closed in the area.

    Pictures from the scene showed flames shooting from the windows and roof of the multi-unit apartment building before the structure collapsed.

    Twenty-eight people were evacuated from the building where the fire broke out and another across the street. The injuries the five people who were taken to the hospital sustained are not life-threatening, officials said.

    Fire, Building Collapse in Shelton

    [HAR] Fire, Building Collapse in Shelton
    Five people have been rushed to the hospital after a fire and a building collapse in Shelton.
    (Published Monday, Jan. 6, 2014)

    Everyone has been accounted for, officials said.

    "Firemen came in, started pounding on our doors to evacuate everybody and make sure nobody was in the building," said Theresa Cassone-Glick, who lives in the building across the street.

    The building houses six businesses, including two restaurants, in addition to the apartments.

    By 10 a.m. on Monday, firefighters were trying to keep a structure near the site of the fire from collapsing too.
    "You had three floors of a building fall into another building, so the integrity of the structure is definitely compromised. How much, we don’t know," said Verdicchio. 

    Liquid Lunch is one of businesses. It will be closed until further notice, but and the fire marshal told the owner he believes that part of the building can be saved.

    "This is our baby. This is where it all started for us and that's what makes it how amazing this community is. They've supported us for almost 10 years," said Michele Bialek, who owns Liquid Lunch Restaurant.

    Everything else is pieces as crews investigate what caused the fire. While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the assistant fire chief said it appears to have started in the basement.

    When the side of the building came down, a street sign hit a firetruck, according to Nick Verdicchio. assistant fire chief of Shelton.

    "We saw the collapse was imminent, so we pulled everybody back to sacrifice the truck for life safety," he said.

    There had been a water main break in the area before the fire and many of the hydrants were not working, so tanker trucks were brought in to help fight the fire, according to officials at the scene.

    Firefighters also said a couple hydrants were frozen.

    Displaced residents are being housed at the Echo Hose Firehouse and is asking for donations of gift cards, clothing and other non-perishable items.You can drop donations off at the firehouse.

    The American Red Cross is also helping residents.


    Firefighters from at least six nearby towns were called in to assist Shelton Fire Department.

    Several roads are impacted:

    Howe Avenue between Center and White streets remains closed.

    The Derby/Shelton Bridge is also closed on the Shelton side. Motorists coming from Derby will be detoured onto Canal Street to Howe Avenue.

    Motorists coming from Shelton will be detoured from Canal Street to the bridge.

    All other roads are currently open. 

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