Officials Warn of Asbestos After Shelton Factory Fire

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As firefighters were still putting out hot spots at the Star Pin building in Shelton Monday afternoon, a new concern began to rise over asbestos that was carried off in the smoke.

“[The smoke] deposited that contaminated material onto properties south of here for about a mile to a mile and a half,” said Jeff Chandler, a supervisor of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection emergency response unit.

The flames could be seen from several miles away Saturday night, according to witnesses.

“We parked over there really far and there were ashes falling down,” said Troy Rogers.

DEEP has a contractor to collect the material and residents should not touch it.

“We are actively picking up those materials,” said Chandler. “If anybody observed those materials in their neighborhood, then they need to contact the emergency management here in the town of Shelton.”

Officials say 155 firefighters from seven engine companies were on scene Saturday. Nearly six million gallons of water were used to put the flames out. As of Monday, they’re beginning to conserve how they treat hotspots so the water use won’t impact business and residential customers.

The factory was built in 1866 and was used to make pins and bobby pins until 1977. The city recently acquired it and was about to have it renovated.

“We went out to bid for a contractor who has expertise in buildings of this nature,” said Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti. “We selected one and we were about to sign contracts when the fire occurred.”

Lauretti says it’s important to preserve the history of buildings like this one.

“I think it’s a bittersweet moment that we’re losing that but on the flip side, from an economic standpoint, I think we’re going to be in a pretty good place,” said Lauretti.

Residents say it’s sad to see the historic building go.

“I feel bad because it’s a beautiful building even though it was old,” said Shane Rogers of Shelton.

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