Fire forces evaucuation of Fairfield gym
FAIRFIELD -- A roof fire Saturday morning forced the evacuation of a Southport gym while classes were in session.
Quick action by firefighters resulted in the swift evacuation of the building and limited damage to the gym.
According to Assistant Chief Scott Bisson, shortly after 7:30 a.m., the Fairfield Fire department received multiple reports from I-95 commuters reporting flames coming from the roof of a building near the Delamar Hotel. While responding, a call was received directly from the manager of the Gym at Southport Athletic, formerly known as Southport Racquet Club at 226 Old Post Road reporting a fire on the roof. The building was occupied and classes were in session at the time of the fire, Bisson said in a press release.
An off-duty Fairfield Fire Department lieutenant was driving by the building in his private vehicle and saw the flames. Fire Lieutenant Lee Corbo, who just got off from working the previous night shift, stopped and entered the building to help the manager evacuate all occupants before fire crews arrived moments later.
There were no reported injuries and only a moderate smoke condition inside the building while flames and smoke continued to build on the roof.
Bisson said Engine 4 arrived on scene less than four minutes from the time of dispatch and reported visible fire shooting the roof of the building. Both ground and aerial ladders were used to gain access to the roof and a hose line was advanced for fire control. Upon accessing the roof, two separate natural gas line fires were located on the roof of the building in the area of repair work performed earlier in the week. Additional fire units were used to establish a water supply with a fire hydrant, shut off the utilities, open up the roof materials to extinguish the hidden fire and to bring hose lines into the building to prevent further fire damage, Bisson said in the release.
"During the fire, additional fire crews placed protective salvage covers inside the building to prevent rain water damage to interior wood floors. There were no reported injuries of firefighters or civilians at this incident. The occupants were allowed to collect their belongings and leave the scene after a brief delay, Bisson said.
The building official and fire marshal were called to the scene to investigate the origin and cause of the fire. Mutual aid departments and off duty personnel were also called in to Fairfield to assist with covering Fairfield fire stations and additiona emergency calls during the fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by thefire marshal's office, but is not considered suspicious.
"We were very lucky to receive early notification of this fire from alert commuters before interior smoke detectors were activated," Bisson said. "The fire damaged the roof of the building, along with gas and electric utilities requiring repair, but most portions of the business are still able to operate at a limited capacity while these repairs are being performed."
The fire marshal cleared the scene at 10:29 a.m.