Updated, 3:45 p.m.
Downtown Shelton has mostly reopened.
According to police, Howe Avenue between Center Street and White Street is still closed. The Derby/Shelton Bridge is also closed on the Shelton side. Motorists coming from Derby will be detoured onto Canal Street to Howe Avenue. Motorists coming from Shelton will be detoured from Canal Street to the bridge.
All other roads are currently open.
Updated, 2:35 p.m.
Despite the rain, the rubble from 446 Howe Ave. was still smoldering Monday afternoon as a bulldozer sifted through the pile of splintered wood and smashed bricks that used to house apartments, Howe Convenient and several other businesses.
Mayor Mark Lauretti stood near the ruins. He said the building was erected in 1850, adding that most fires Downtown are hard to extinguish because the structures are so old.
Ralph Matto, the building's owner, could not immediately be reached for comment.
But Lauretti said, "We'll rebuild. We always do."
He praised the response of the Fire Department and other departments who rushed over to fight the early morning blaze.
Meanwhile, the displaced residents staying at the Echo Hose fire house need the basic necessities, said the Echo Hose Fire Department.
"We are in need of hot food, blankets, clothing for the displaced residents currently being housed at Echo Hose Fire Company located at 379 Coram Ave. Please call Echo Hose Firehouse at 203-924-4200 or 203-924-4241if you are able to make any donations," the fire department said in a statement.
The American Red Cross was also on the scene. To donate to the Red Cross, go to www.redcross.org.
Updated, 11:15 a.m.
From Supt. Freeman Burr:
"Perry Hill School has experienced a problem with their water pressure due to the fire in downtown Shelton. Perry Hill students and staff have been transported to the High School. Perry Hill students will be served lunch at the High School and will be dismissed from that facility at the end of the regular school day."
While officials investigate the cause of Monday's 12:30 a.m. fire, several intersections are closed.
According to Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky, the traffic pattern is the following:
- Closed: Howe Avenue and Bridge Street; Howe Avenue and Cornell Street; Coram Avenue and Cornell St; Coram Avenue from Cornell Street to Fairmont Place; Center Street from Long Hill Avenue to Howe Avenue; West Canal Street (Open to local traffic only)
- Intersections Detoured: Motorists approaching Howe Avenue and Brook Street will be detoured to Oak Avenue; Motorists approaching Howe Avenue and White Street will be detoured to Perry Avenue.
"These closures and detours are subject to change because the scene is still a fluid situation," Kozlowsky said.