Fire erupts in vacant downtown Pawcatuck building that had been boarded up

Fire erupts in vacant downtown Pawcatuck building that had been boarded up


PAWCATUCK — Investigators with the Connecticut fire marshal’s office, the Stonington police, and the Pawcatuck Fire Department remained at the scene of a fire past 9 p.m. Saturday, more than four hours after the blaze broke out in a boarded-up building at 6 Mechanic St.

Flames were visible in the second floor windows and smoke billowed from the building as firefighters from the Pawcatuck and Westerly fire departments arrived at the scene in downtown Pawcatuck after 5 p.m.

Emergency officials shut down Route 1 and Mechanic Street in the downtown area and closed the Pawcatuck River bridge as the two departments maneuvered their equipment to the front and the rear of the building. The crews were able to bring the fire under control within about 40 minutes. The streets remained closed for about two hours.

The two-story building, owned by Doug Hansen, of Pawcatuck, had been boarded up and a for sale sign was on display on the second floor.

The Pawcatuck ladder crew battled the blaze from the front of the building and the Westerly ladder crew fought from the back, cutting a hole at level of second floor for water delivery. Firefighters were engulfed in smoke as they opened the building.

Best Energy, a one story building at 4 Mechanic St. that wraps around one side of 6 Mechanic St. and extends into the parking lot at the back, had smoke and water damage and its front windows were broken by the firefighters.

One firefighter hurt his knee while hauling a hose and was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire, which heavily damaged the wooden structure at 6 Mechanic St.

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