A smoky, smoldering and potentially dangerous fire Thursday in Norwich caused major damage at Shur Fire, a 340 W. Thames St. business that sells wood pellet, wood and gas stoves.
First reported at 9:55 p.m., firefighters from the East Great Plain Fire Department arrived to find heavy smoke pouring from the building, but no visible fire, said Fire Chief Patrick Daley. The business was closed and firefighters forced open the front entrance where they were confronted with heavy black smoke.
Route 32 traffic was rerouted as firefighters entered the two-story building. Daley said firefighters had difficulty navigating the interior because of the heavy smoke conditions and the amount of material.
Twice firefighters were pulled outside of the building because of the danger of a flashover, a buildup of heat that can trigger a room to burst into flames, Daley said. The extent of the damage had yet to be assessed, but no injuries were reported.
East Great Plain was joined firefighters from Norwich, Yantic and Laurel Hill departments, as well as the FAST Team from the Mohegan Tribal Fire Department.
Even after the fire was doused with water and apparently under control, white smoke was coming from most parts of the building. The masonry walls were charred and windows were broken, offering a view of a blackened interior with wood stoves visible.
Firefighters were still at the scene at 1 a.m. The city fire marshal’s office is conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire.
City records show the building, built in 1935, is owned by New York-based WISP Partners. The Shur Fire Energy website lists a second showroom at 31 Halls Hill Road in Colchester.