Mayor, DEEP Tour Site of Waterbury Factory Fire

Officials believe the fire was set.

The commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental and the mayor of Waterbury are touring an abandoned factory in the city that burned for three straight days to see what needs to be done to clean up the site.

The fire broke out around 5:50 p.m. on Saturday at the former Nova Dye & Print Corp. on East Liberty and Mill streets, which was once a clothing mill, and Waterbury fire officials said it appears to be the work of an arsonist.

There have been at least six fires at the factory in the last year, as well as other fires in the area and investigators are trying to determine if the same person is responsible.

By Monday, the building was reduced to a pile of rubble and firefighters were still putting water on the fire.

"The biggest issue is probably the old oil-soaked floors -- it is an old mill -- which is common in a building like that. There was  a problem with the building being empty the last 10 years and we did have a lot of people dumping various debris there, a lot of it is unknown," Fire Chief David Martin said.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said something needs to be done with the site.

"We're going to seek some state assistance to make this a safe site, to control the environmental hazards and hopefully, ultimately knock it down to put some open space here or some housing," O’Leary said.

A cash reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction connected to the fire, according to police.

City officials said the owner of the building owes nearly $2 million in taxes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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