Residents allowed outside after factory fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Residents allowed outside after factory fire


Update: Lightning may have caused Bevin Bell Factory fire

Fire officials investigating the cause of a massive fire at the Bevin Bell Factory in East Hampton are now allowing nearby residents to go outside.

Residents were urged to stay inside Sunday afternoon over concerns that dangerous chemicals were being released into the air.

Officials said that at least one dead bird has been found near the scene of the factory fire, raising safety concerns.

During a press conference, officials said that the fire is now 99 percent contained and foam had been applied inside the building.

Officials also said that any non-essential emergency responders should stay out of the affected area.

The fire, which ignited just before midnight on Sunday, was described by emergency officials as "very active" upon arrival.

Thirty fire departments from surrounding towns responded to the scene to assist East Hampton emergency crews.

According to officials, no one was in the building at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.

Officials said multiple propane tanks were present on the property and dozens of nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precaution. A temporary shelter was set up at the high school. A majority of the evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes later in the morning.

Crews said they would remain on the scene all day Sunday to check for any hot spots. Hazard and foam teams from Hartford and Norwich were also called to the scene.

Fire officials said the building was a complete loss.

Eyewitness News spoke with the fifth generation owner of the Bevin Bell Factory, who called the fire a tragedy.

"One hundred eighty years of family history died last night," said Stanley Bevin. "The tragedy isn't for me, but for all the employees."

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