SHELTON'S BRAVEST: Photos of Shelton firefighters at downtown fire scene

The smoke-filled scene on Howe Avenue about seven hours after the fire broke out.

The smoke-filled scene on Howe Avenue about seven hours after the fire broke out.

These photos show firefighters from Shelton’s four volunteer companies, joined by fire personnel from nearby towns, at the site of the downtown Shelton fire soon after daybreak on the morning of Monday, Jan. 6. (Photos by John Kovach)

The fire began slightly after midnight on Monday, roaring through structures on Howe Avenue between Center Street and Bridge Street/Viaduct Square. It destroyed apartments and retail stores, displacing almost 30 residents and a half dozen businesses, and caused the main four-story structure to collapse.

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Firefighters move around the scene on Howe Avenue, with Mayor Mark Lauretti visible standing behind the car, holding an umbrella and talking to a fire official.

Some people inside apartments were saved by firefighters with tower ladders. Five people were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

A firefighter taps into a fire hydrant on Center Street, just off Howe Avenue toward the Housatonic River. Note the State Police Investigation van behind him, in the rear Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.

A firefighter taps into a fire hydrant on Center Street, just off Howe Avenue toward the Housatonic River. Note the State Police Investigation van behind him, in the Dunkin’ Donuts rear parking lot.

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A view of part of the collapsed building taken from near the front of Dunkin’ Donuts.

The smoke-filled scene on Howe Avenue.

The smoke-filled scene on Howe Avenue.

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