UPDATE: Hundreds respond to Torrington blaze

Fire at the Toce Brothers tire warehouse in Torrington. (WTNH George Roelofsen)

TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Fourteen hours after it started, the fire at a tire warehouse on Main Street still was not completely conquered late Thursday night.

“It’s pretty much out but there’s a few hotspots,” Torrington fire chief Gary Brunoli told News 8 about 10 p.m. “We’ll be here all night making sure it doesn’t start up again.”

An estimated 250 firefighters from 25 towns responded to the blaze that broke out about 8 a.m. at Toce Brothers, which is on the corner of Taylor and Albert streets. Flames sent thick black smoke into the air.

Report It photo of Torrington fire from Sean
Report It photo of Torrington fire from Sean

As of late Thursday, there were no reported injuries. Some nearby residents evacuated their homes at the request of police, who advised locals to take shelter at the Coe Park Civic Center.

But some found the directive tough to follow, as several roads in the area were closed to the public so that emergency vehicles could get through.

“They said stay in your house, keep the windows closed, roll up your windows, if you have some place to go, go,” Torrington resident Jessica Rinaldi said. “But you can’t drive anywhere, you can’t get out of your driveway.”

PHOTOS: Torrington tire business goes up in flames

At the scene Thursday afternoon, Brunoli said, “We’ve taken into consideration all of the routes we have blocked for streets and coordinated with the EMS department and the hospital making sure everyone can get around town.”

By 3 p.m., fire officials estimated that about 65 percent of the fire was contained with more than 100 pieces of equipment on scene.

Foam was used to “take the heat away” from the many petroleum products, Brunoli said. Sandbags corralled water, foam and rubber from entering local waterways.

Investigators were expected to be on scene late Thursday to start the process of determining the cause of the massive blaze.

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