Fire ripped through a Waterbury furniture store Monday morning, causing heavy damage and compromising the building.
According to Waterbury fire officials, firefighters responded to Discount Furniture at 1311 South Main Street around 6:30 a.m.
“They did make progress for a period of time, but being a furniture store there’s a heavy fire load in there and once everything got going we did back the guys off for safety reasons,” said Waterbury Fire Chief David Martin.
The fire caused the roof and center of the building to cave in, and officials are concerned the front of the building may also be compromised.
Heavy smoke could be seen billowing up over the rooftops while crews worked to contain the fire.
"It got heavier and heavier and darker and darker and next thing you know there was smoke coming out of all the cracks in the building, coming out the roof, the windows the door. There was smoke coming out of everywhere,” witness Joel Schwab told NBC Connecticut.
No one was inside at the time of the fire and no serious injuries were reported.
Discount Furniture has been open for around 12 years, officials said. The building is likely a total loss.
Donald Thompson, Jr., who owns the building, said the owners of the furniture company, a father and son duo, rent from him and that there were a lot of mattresses inside the business.
“It’s a great family. Father and son run business. They’ve been great tenants. Like any small business I think they have their struggles, but this is just devastating to them,” Thompson said.
Thompson is president and CEO of Staywell Health Center and operates a behavioral health clinic that is connected to the store. The clinic suffered smoke damage but should be able to reopen Tuesday.
"We actually rely on the rental income to keep our clinics going, with the budget cutbacks, every rental dollar helps so that hurts us for the year,” Thompson said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.