Waterbury storage facility continues to burn


(Report-It/Mike Ricchezza)
(Report-It/Mike Ricchezza)

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Waterbury storage facility and countless belongings went up in flames Wednesday. The fire broke out in the 900 block of Meriden Road after lunchtime, and officials say that at one point the entire facility was on fire.

Wednesday night, the flames are still not out at the A-1 Self Storage facility. Earlier, smoke could be seen from miles around. Firefighters have been battling the blaze for at about 10 hours.

“It just burned all day long,” said Justin Rodriguez, who works near the facility. “It wasn’t as much as the flames, it was more the smoke going all day.”

A total of seven engines, a ladder, and a heavy rescue unit were dispatched. Firefighters had a tough time battling the blaze in the subdivided building, covered with snow on its roof.

“There’s multiple hallways with multiple units inside,” said Waterbury Fire Department battalion chief Bob Stoeckert.

The contents of the units presented another challenge. They say stored rounds of ammunition and a propane tank went off at one point.

Building three was completely engulfed earlier, bad news for Wesley Schipritt who rents two units in the building.

“Mine’s right in the middle, along with my other one, they’re both right in middle, so most likely my two units were casualties of that,” he said.

Schipritt had tens of thousands worth of DJ equipment stored away, a part-time passion of his that will take a major setback due to the fire.

“My brother and I both started off doing it,” he said. “It took a few years to save up the money, and it takes all but a fire to ruin all that.”

Schipritt has no insurance for what might have been lost.

“I looked over the contract and unfortunately it doesn’t cover any acts of God, or theft, fire, flood,” he said.

Rose Harvey doesn’t have insurance for what’s in her unit either, but insurance couldn’t replace the contents. She says what’s burning is more than just property, they’re cherished memories.

“I had some furniture in there, but it’s the things that have sentimental value, things that my son made through his life, elementary school, cards, pictures, things cant be replaced, you know, and that breaks my heart,” said Harvey.

No one has been injured in the fire.

It’s uncertain when the flames will be out. Fire officials say it could still be burning Thursday morning.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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