#FAIRFIELD, CT, June 14, 2013: At 3:41 A.M. the Emergency Communications Center received a report of smoke coming from a building at 1565 Black Rock Turnpike by a witness. The Fairfield Fire Department responded within minutes with five engine and two ladder companies. Assistant Chief Erik Kalapir arrived on scene and found black smoke coming from a one story, mercantile occupancy a “working fire” was declared. At the time, the exact location of the seat of the fire was unknown. Engine Two, under the command of LT Jay Swindon, arrived on scene and scanned the building with the thermal imaging camera to locate the highest heat concentration. Engine Two personnel forced entry and advanced a hose line, exposed to high heat and zero visibility, into the occupancy of “Beans and Leaves” to conduct fire attack. Ladder Two utilized ground ladders to access the roof and cut a ventilation hole using power saws, because there was a concern the fire would grab hold of the cockloft area and combustible roof. The aerial ladder was used as a secondary escape route. Engine Three, under the command of LT Bill Tuttle, established a water supply from a hydrant on Moritz Place, and then they proceeded to stretch a 2 ½” backup line to protect the fire attack conducted by Engine Two.
Ladder One arrived on scene and opened access to the rear of the structure, providing access, looking for the possibility of fire extension and a possible basement access. Engine Five arrived on scene and staged as a rapid intervention crew and safety officer. An additional Engine and Ladder was called to the scene from Bridgeport, but they were put in service prior to arrival. Engine Four arrived on scene and entered the adjoining store and stretched an 1 3/4″ exposure line to look for fire extension into the “Turkish Grill”. Luckily, there was no fire extension into the adjoining restaurant after inspection. Westport and Bridgeport Fire Department provided coverage of fire stations. Squad 14 was utilized to provide lighting to the interior of the building.
An investigation is being conducted by Assistant Chief William Kessler. The property owner is diligently working with businesses owners to reopen this weekend.