Crews have spent hours battling a large fire at Central Auto & Transport on Maxim Road in Hartford Tuesday morning that closed Hartford-Brainard Airport as well as an MDC office.
The fire department received the initial call reporting the fire around 5:30 a.m. and they called for a second alarm around 15 minutes later.
Large fireballs were visible after the fire broke out at the business, which is located near the airport. Officials said the explosions were likely from tires blowing out.
Officials from the Connecticut Airport Authority said the airport has resumed normal operations.
"I’m aware that the state has closed the airport down tentatively until 10 a.m. for traffic and the fire is contained," said Lindsey Rutka, the owner of Hartford Jet Center, which handles operations for fueling, concierge, and hanger storage.
"We were inside one of the hangars and we could feel the impact of the explosions, something was shivering the building here," Rutka said.
Officials said the fire was contained to a garage, which contained four large tow trucks and oil for oil changes on the trucks. Two 50-gallon tanks of oil burned in the fire.
The company had also received a new shipment of tires.
“Originally when we arrived on the scene, the fire was minimal. But because of the waste oil, it spread very rapidly and it started engulfing the entire structure,” Assistant Fire Chief Rodney Barco said.
There are several businesses in the Maxim Road area, including Brainard Airport.
Photos: Firefighters Battle Massive Blaze in Hartford
Rutka said streets are blocked off in every direction.
"It’s just a matter of I can’t our employees down on our property. We’re trying to get them in through other means so they can get to work. The streets are blocked off in every direction to get into the airport," Rutka said.
Some of Rutka's tenants are also schools and aircraft maintenance.
MDC said its customer service office at 60 Murphy Road in Hartford is temporarily closed for walk-ins due to the fire. The MDC Call Center is still available for our customers.
The Connecticut Aero Tech School of Aviation on Lindeberg Drive is also closed today.
It's not clear what started the fire. An investigation is underway.
Check back for updates.