Groton — Nine area fire departments responded this morning to a fire at PCC Structurals, a manufacturing plant at 839 Poquonnock Road.
Poquonnock Bridge Fire Chief Todd Paige said that shortly after 7 a.m., there was a report of smoke coming from the rooftop. The portion that appeared to be affected is on the left side of the building, facing Poquonnock Road.
Paige said one of the stacks connected to an oven used to create castings for metal apparently overheated. The area around the stack caught on fire.
Paige brought in fire crews from Mystic, Old Mystic, Groton City, New London, the Naval Submarine Base, Noank, Center Groton and Gales Ferry.
Paige said the crews were summoned because there was a potential for the fire to spread throughout the entire structure.
He said aggressive firefighting tactics prevented the fire from spreading.
He also said because of the heat and humidity firefighters in crews of about four people alternated going on the roof.
Firefighters could be seen using saws and pickaxes to chop holes into the roof. Paige said only a small portion of the roof was affected.
"They are working over hot furnaces," said Paige. "Even on a winter day that would be hot."
Paige said he expected workers to be allowed back in the part of the building that was not affected by the fire.
A company official said there were about 80 employees in the building at the time and they were all safely evacuated.
According to the company's profile, 85,000 square feet of a total 110,000 square feet is used for manufacturing. The company produces vacuum and air investment cast components for aerospace, energy, and commercial applications.
They use nickel- and cobalt-based superalloys, stainless steel, and alloy steel to produce the casts.
Poquonnock Road between Route 1 and Johl Drive is closed because fire crews are still at the scene.
The closure is also backing up traffic on Meridian Street.
Two firefighters were injured, one sustained an injury to a finger while the other got debris in his eye. They were taken to Pequot Medical Center for evaluation.