Fire officials: Meriden industrial recycling facility a ‘total loss’ after Friday morning fire

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MERIDEN — The fire marshal’s office is investigating a Friday morning fire at a Hall Avenue industrial recycling facility that destroyed the building.

Fire Chief Ken Morgan said there were no reported injuries. The fire sent a up column of black smoke that could be seen throughout the city.

It was reported about 8 a.m. inside 45 Hall Ave, J.C. Recycling Incorporated. Morgan said the fire was brought under control at about 9:20 a.m. 

Eversource Energy responded to cut power to the building.

Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Dunn said industrial fires can be difficult to extinguish because materials typically burn quickly. Firefighters were forced to battle the blaze from outside with high-pressure hoses. The roof collapsed during the fire.

Dunn also said there were several vehicles inside the building during Friday’s fire.

“This building had a large fire load in it with all of the scrap parts,” he said. “Vehicles burn very rapidly…the firefighters did a great job despite the circumstances that were thrown at us.”

“Nobody got hurt so that’s what really matters,” said City Councilor Joe Carabetta III, whose family owns the company. “You can rebuild anything, but you can’t rebuild a life.”

He said the fire department prevented the flames from spreading to an adjacent home.

“You’ve got to commend them,” he said.

Joe Carabetta II, who owns the business, said no employees were working when the fire started.

Barbara Orzech, who lives on Hall Avenue, said she was watching from her home.

“Looks like they did real well controlling it,” she said. “I thought that everyone responded very quickly.”

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded as a precaution due to the possibility of hazardous materials inside the building. DEEP spokesman Chris Colibee said the agency had not yet entered the building as of about noon Friday.

Mutual aid was requested from the Berlin, Wallingford and Southington fire departments.
Twitter: @leith_yessian


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