Firefighters knock down 'stubborn' Canal Street blaze

Firefighters knocked down a blaze early Wednesday morning, that damaged an abandoned 235 Canal St. building and spread to a business next door.

The report of the fire in the abandoned building on Canal Street came in just before 1:30 a.m., according to Shelton Fire Department Public Information Officer Nick Verdicchio.

“When firefighters arrived there was heavy fire showing the former Apex Tool and Cutter Company building next to Better Packages,” Verdicchio said. “We had the bulk of the fire knocked down in 30 minutes but the problem is we ran into a lot of obstacles.”

Since Canal is a narrow street, the conditions were cramped and firefighters had problems with ice, Verdicchio said. Keeping the fire out also proved challenging.

“Hotspots kept popping up, it was a stubborn fire,” Verdicchio said.

The fire spread to Better Packages, causing some damage.

Volunteer firefighters from all four city companies responded, as well as Shelton EMS and mutual aid from Derby, Ansonia and Trumbull.

There were no occupants in the buildings at the time. Most fire crews left the scene by 5 a.m. but a couple of crews remained there this morning, extinguishing hot spots.

Fire Marshal James Tortora was investigating the scene this morning. No cause is known yet. Both buildings are still standing, Verdicchio said, but there is damage to both.

One firefighter slipped on ice during response and injured his ankle, Verdicchio said. He was treated at the hospital and released.

“The guys did a great job,” Verdicchio said. “Between the ice, cramped working conditions, water problems, they overcame a lot.”