Waterbury Factory Remains Still Smoldering 24 Hours After Blaze

An abandoned Waterbury factory is still smoldering about 24 hours after a massive fire broke out  and officials are trying to determine how it started because there no electricity fed the building.

Heavy fire broke out at the former factory, known as the old Bristol company, on Bristol Street late Thursday night and consumed the five-story, 400,000 to 500,000 square-foot building.

Crews were still on scene at 10:27 p.m. on Friday because the remains of the building were still smoldering.

The building has been abandoned for 20 to 25 years and the fire marshal is trying to determine how the fire started since it was supposed to be empty. Officials said could be suspicious.

"A building that's unoccupied with no electricity, it's certainly suspicious," Waterbury First Chief David Martin said. "These building do attract a lot of vagrant activity."

There was no industrial waste at the building.

This was one of the biggest fires Waterbury firefighters have had to battle and, fortunately,  no one was injured.

Firefighters from several companies responded to the fire on Bristol Street and significant accessibility issues made it difficult for crews battling the fire. Crews had to cut trees to create an oppening for a ladder and hose.

"Due to the disrepair of the building, it had various stages of collapse throughout the building, already," Martin said. "When you add that volume of fire, it basically burned the rest of the floors and the rest of the roof off."

Firefighters were not able to get the fire truck to the back of the factory to fight the flames. so they had to cut through a fence and go through the brush to get inside.

Several roads were closed as firefighters battled the fire.

Neighbors watched nervously from their own homes.

George Cipriano said it was a little scary at some points.

"We saw the embers coming back down toward us and you never know what's going to happen." he said.

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