Fire Destroys Commercial Building in Watertown

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Firefighters responded to a fire at a commercial building on Falls Avenue in Watertown Friday afternoon, according to the fire department.

Emergency crews responded to the blaze at Cocchiola Paving around 1:30 p.m. No employees were inside at the time the flames broke out, according to Jeff Rudzavice of the Watertown.

Eversource said it had to cut power in the area to protect the firefighters. About 500 customers were affected, the company said.

"Smoke, flames, the walls started coming down. it was a matter of ten minutes and the building was down," Stacy D'Anthony, who works across the street, described the scene.

People who work nearby said they heard explosions, which the fire department explained were caused by cans of gasoline inside the building.

A paving company on Falls Avenue in Watertown was destroyed by fire Friday afternoon.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was called in to assess the damage caused by an oil release from the fire. DEEP officials said the company keeps around 300 gallons of oil on site for heating and other uses, and an unknown amount leaked out.

There are minor impacts to the Turkey Brook and Steel Brook nearby and a company has been contracted to help with remediation. Officials noted that the site does have an oil-water separator that may have helped to retain the oil and limit the impacts.

Rudzavice confirmed no injuries were reported, saying they were fortunate that it was not more serious. It took crews around 45 minutes to knock it down.

People who work in the area say the damage is tough to see.

"It's really sad to see someone's business go down in flames like that. It's terrible; it's terrible," D'Anthony said.

"Hopefully they can rebuild and rebuild their company. It's a rough day for Cocchiola Paving."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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