Latex factory in Shelton suffers extensive water damage in fire

The Latex International factory on River Road in Shelton has suffered major water damage from firefighting efforts this morning.

“When I was in the basement, [the water] was up to my knees,” said Nick Verdicchio, an assistant fire chief in Shelton and the department’s spokesman.

“We dropped a lot of water on the fire from the outside,” Verdicchio said.

Dozens of firefighters from Shelton’s four volunteer companies and surrounding towns battled the blaze, which started in a large machine used in the manufacturing process.

Large drying machine caught on fire

Verdicchio said the machine that caught on fire was a large industrial dryer, which dries material on a conveyer belt. It is located in the basement in the very rear of the sprawling complex on Route 110.

The fire started to spread through the vent system and reached the roof, with flames shooting out of the roof for a period, he said.

“The duct work began to collapse and we pulled crews out, and then did an attack from the outside,” Verdicchio said. “Later, it was deemed safe enough that we could put a crew inside again.”

“The guys worked very hard,” he said of firefighting efforts.

All the damage appears to be to the inside of the building.