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STONINGTON — Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire within a wood shop ventilation system at the Velvet Mill on Friday morning.

Stonington Borough firefighters, with assistance from the Wequetequock and Pawcatuck fire departments, were called to scene, at 22 Bayview Ave., around 10:40 a.m. Stonington police and personnel with Stonington Ambulance also assisted.

"The building was evacuated as a precaution, but everyone was able to return after a short time. The damage was limited to the wood shop and there were no injuries," said Assistant Stonington Borough Fire Chief Theresa Hersh.

According to Hersh, the fire began after a wood sander's motor belt broke. The shop is on the Meadow Avenue side of the building. The malfunction caused embers to enter the shop's dust collection system, which is connected to a bin. The system is not connected to any other units in the building and was not part of the building's  ventilation system, officials said.

The first arriving firefighters located the fire quickly and contained it within the duct.  Parts of the piping were removed to address the blaze, Hersh said, but the fire never spread beyond the unit. All businesses were cleared to resume operations by noon.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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