Seymour Volunteer Fire

Three Alarm Factory Fire Housatonic Wire 109 River St 9/11/10

At approximately 4:45 on 9/11/10 I received a call from Ron Burgess (theshotbyron.com) a fellow member of the Connecticut Fire Photographers Association, that the abandoned Housatonic Wire Factory in the center of Seymour was going up. He was on his way back from the Engine 260 Muster and reported a huge black tower of smoke visible for miles. Since I was commited for another hour of volunteer ambulance standby I got on the phone with fellow members Glenn Duda (allhandsworking.com) and Doc Johnson (beyondthefireline.com) to get someone to the scene to get some pictures. The fire which appeared to have started in the reae of the building was involving the top to floors of the entire structure and also threatening a large church on the top of the hill at the rear exposure. Seymour's Ladder 14 and Ansonia's Truck 7 set up tower operations in front of the building while Oxford's Ladder 46 set up in the Seymour Lumber Company to provide protection for and suppression from the "B" side of the fire. Beacon Falls mutual aid crews took up a position on the hill al the rear of the fire to protect the church, suppress the brush fire in the rear and help fight the fire along with Seymour fire fighers in the rear of the building. The main body of fire was knocked down in approximately an hour but crews would stay on scene late into the night overhauling the massive fire scene. The job would be hampered by the fact that the brick walls of the structure were weakened by the massive fire and the large amount of water being poured into the building. Also there were worries of a hazards materials run off into the Naugatuck River from the residual oils left in the building from the manufacturing process as well as asbestos laiden embers which were carried into the surrounding neighborhoods by the fire. The State DEP was called to the scene to monitor the hazmat situation. EMS support from Seymour EMS and Beacon Falls Hose Co 1 provided medical rehab services while the Ladies Auxilliary fro Seymour VFD set up a canteen to feed and hydrate the crews. The fire brought a mutual aid shuffle of engines to cover stations from as far south as Shelton. Members of the State Fire Marshal's Office were present to investigate the fire. There was speculation the fire may have been started by demolition worked cutting out the old sprinkler system with torches earlier that day but at this point this is purely speculation.

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