Stratford business destroyed by fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Stratford business destroyed by fire

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A commercial building on Research Drive in Stratford caught fire on Monday morning. (WFSB) A commercial building on Research Drive in Stratford caught fire on Monday morning. (WFSB)
Firefighters battled a fire on Research Drive in Stratford on Monday morning. (DOT) Firefighters battled a fire on Research Drive in Stratford on Monday morning. (DOT)
STRATFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A fire started at a commercial building in town, prompting road closures, evacuations, and a large response from first responders. 

The fire broke out at a commercial building on Research Drive near the intersection of Surf Avenue on Monday morning, around 6:30 a.m.

According to Mayor Laura Hoydick, it happened at the Soundsphere building.

"[It's] putting off heavy smoke," Hoydick said. "Per the fire marshal, residents and businesses nearby are advised to close windows and doors for the next couple hours due to poor air quality."

See more photos from the scene here.

“They were mixing a chemical this morning as part of the process for how they make their molds for their speakers. Something occurred, we don’t know what that is it will be subject to the investigation of Stratford Fire Marshal, and hopefully, we’ll be able to get an answer about what happened," said Assistant Fire Chief Michael Camperlengo. 

At one point, flames and smoke could be seen from a Department of  Transportation traffic camera.

Camperlengo said at one point there were 50 firefighters out at the scene, along with a number of first responders and members of the Fairfield County Hazmat team.

He said the Environmental Protection Agency has been notified, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard because of the run-off. 

The roof and walls of the building collapsed, and as of about 11:30 a.m., smoke was still billowing from the building.

Crews have also been monitoring air quality. and the assistant fire chief said none of the readings have been abnormal. 

“I’m in shock, I still am... it’s hard to believe everything you’ve done in there is gone," said Robert Betts, of Soundsphere, who has worked there for 20 years.

“We manufacture loud speakers for public area venues, schools, and airports, and that kind of thing. It was basically an assembly plant. Assembly and warehouse storage," Betts said.

Roads were closed in the area as crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

Crews are expected to be out at the scene for most of the day. They're asking people to avoid the area and follow directions from police when passing through.

For real-time traffic updates, check the Channel 3 traffic map here.

Channel 3 streamed live pictures of the fire here.

Refresh this page and watch Eyewitness News for updates.

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