Latex fire started in large manufacturing machine; Overnight work crew was in factory at the time

The fire at the Latex International factory on River Road (Route 110) in Shelton started in a large machine used in the manufacturing process.

Shelton Fire Chief Fran Jones said a fire alarm came in at about 12:50 a.m. on Thursday, followed by calls from staff at the factory. The plant’s overnight shift was in, and was quickly evacuated from the building.

Firefighters arriving at the scene found “a working structure fire in the basement,” in the rear of the large factory complex, according to Jones.

Jones said the fire had started in a 20-foot by 200-foot machine that manufactures foam products, which fire crews found to be “fully engulfed” in flames.

Overrun in first attack on the fire

Firefighters brought in numerous hose lines and make an attack on the fire, but were overrun by the blaze. They then took a more defensive posture, Jones said, and began pouring water on the machine and immediate vicinity, from a distance.

It took about two hours to two-and-a-half hours to put out the fire, but the “mop-up” operation continued for longer. “We had a large building filled with smoke,” Jones said.

He said fire crews will remain on the scene for an extended period. “This material, when wet, is still combustible, so there will be a fire watch for awhile.”