Roughly two dozen fire departments responded to a four alarm fire at a Torrington tire warehouse this morning. Remarkably, there were no injuries reported and little if any damage to surrounding homes, some of which were located within 25 feet of the burning building.
The fire was called in just before 8am by an employee of the Toce Tire Company, which a source says was storing as many as 5,000 commercial and retail grade tires in the Albert Street building, which is owned by O & G Industries.
Fifty houses were evacuated as a precaution because of the type of material that was burning and what it released.
“You have carbon monoxide and cyanide,” said Fire Chief Gary Brunoli. “So, it’s important that you keep yourself in your home and don’t open your windows.”
Brunoli said he expects that over one million gallons of water will have been used to douse a fire that took at least 5 hours to bring under control. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was onsite monitoring water runoff, which found its way into the Naugatuck River.
“The majority of the runoff does contain small bits of solid particulate from the tires themselves,” said Jeff Chandler, Connecticut DEEP Supervisor. “Environmentally it’s very low risk though as far as aquatic toxicity is concerned.”