Multiple Shelton fire trucks and dozens of firefighting personnel rushed again to the Latex Foam factory on River Road on Thursday evening. (Aug. 14 photos by Brad Durrell)
Fire alarms could be heard going off throughout the sprawling complex on Route 110, where mattresses and related products are made and where there have been two previous fire incidents in the past few months.
The fire call came in at about 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14. Firefighters could be seen entering the basement of the building from the rear — the same location they had used for access during the previous fires.
Personnel at the scene said the water flow alarm had gone off, which can mean the sprinkler system has been activated.
Shelton Fire Chief Fran Jones said an emergency sprinkler had been activated inside an industrial dryer oven in the basement. The dryer had been running but no product was inside it at the time, he said.
The dryer is used in the manufacturing process at the factory.
“There was no smoke and no fire when [firefighting] units arrived,” Jones said.
Workers gather outside the building
Latex workers gathered outside the building in the south parking lot and observed the fire response. One worker said the alarms had gone off but he was unaware of any specific problem — such as an actual fire — inside the building.
Earlier, some people at the scene also said they were unaware of an actual fire, but someone else said there had been a problem with the same industrial dryer that started a previous fire and it was quickly put out by localized sprinklers.
By 8:05 or so, some firefighters could be seen leaving the building but others remained inside.
Two previous fire incidents
The two previous fire responses occurred on June 26, when a major nighttime fire began in an industrial dryer in the basement, and on June 30, when it appears some charred remnants from the previous fire may have started a minor incident.
The June 26 blaze caused the building’s basement to be flooded due to all the water from the emergency sprinkler system and firefighting efforts.