Downtown Pawcatuck apartment fire closes bridge, displaces 20

Stonington — Pawcatuck firefighters quickly extinguished a fire late this afternoon that damaged a commercial/residential building at 38 West Broad St. and displaced up to 20 tenants. There were no injuries in the 5:45 p.m. blaze.

Fire Chief Tom Long said smoke was pouring out of the three-story Walton Block Building when firefighters arrived but all those in the building were already outside. Fifteen of the 18 apartments on the upper two floors were occupied. A nail salon and computer business are on the ground floor.

Firefighters were able to confine damage to an unoccupied unit on the third floor. Water from a sprinkler system, though, damaged other sections of the building.

The American Red Cross is helping to find temporary accommodations for the tenants.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Fire Marshal Kevin Burns. Building official Wayne Greene was also called to the scene to evaluate the condition of the building.

Police closed the Pawcatuck River bridge on Route 1 as firefighters extinguished the fire. Traffic was rerouted around the area with the Stillman Avenue bridge being used as an alternate route into Westerly.

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