Major Fire Destroys Howe Avenue Building

Fire crews from all over the Valley and beyond responded to the fire that led to several collapses.

Firefighters battle a fire on Howe Avenue in Shelton, Conn., on Jan. 6, 2014. Credit: Bill Bittar
Firefighters battle a fire on Howe Avenue in Shelton, Conn., on Jan. 6, 2014. Credit: Bill Bittar

A major blaze engulfed the building at 446 Howe Ave. in the heart of downtown early Monday morning, destroying much of the building and sending several to the hospital.

The fire broke out just before 12:30 a.m. at the intersection of Bridge Street and in front of the Shelton Post Office and prompted a mass response from all Valley fire departments, both to help battle the blaze and provide coverage for the Shelton departments left unmanned.

WATCH: This video of firefighters fighting the fire.

The building was home to several businesses on the ground level, including Howe Convenient and the Bob Boroski School of Art, as well as a florist and Liquid Lunch. The second and third floors were residential units where most of those injured live.

Around 1:20 a.m. one portion of the building collapsed, and about 15 minutes later another portion was felled by the fire. A third "pancake" collapse occurred around 2:10 a.m., which reportedly took down what remained of the building.

After each collapse, roll calls were taken to make sure that all firefighters were accounted for.

Getting water to the building proved problematic. At times firefighters had trouble hooking up to water hydrants in both Shelton and over Bridge Street in Derby.

Crews from around the area responded to the fire. Two engines and a ladder truck responded from Seymour and crews from Newtown, Monroe, Oxford and Stratford were on the scene. Crews from as far away as Southport and Orange offered assistance.


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