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Fire Damages Several Stores in Downtown Fairfield

Extensive smoke damage forces the closure of a handful of stores.

The scene of a fire in downtown Fairfield, Conn., on March 27, 2014. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
The scene of a fire in downtown Fairfield, Conn., on March 27, 2014. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
Several Fairfield businesses will be closed as a result of a fire that sent smoke billowing into the bustling downtown Thursday afternoon.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Fairfield Fire Marshal Bill Kessler said it appears to have originated in the first floor storage workroom in the rear of Engravers World, 1555 Post Road. 

The fire was called in at 11:38 a.m., according to Fairfield Fire Chief Richard Felner. The department's headquarters is right around the corner and firefighters were on scene within minutes.

Click here to see photos from the scene.

They encountered heavy fire and smoke on the first and second floors of the building, which runs contiguous to several others on a stretch of Route 1 in the heart of downtown. Additional fire units responded from other stations in town, as well as from neighboring Bridgeport and Westport, and the fire was knocked down before it could spread further.

The fire sent thick smoke into downtown and forced the closure of the heavily traveled Post Road for several hours while crews were on scene.

On the street level, the building is home to Midas Touch Jewelers, Fairfield Clothiers, and Engravers World. There are a total of seven tenants on the second floors, including the financial services firm ITEX, according to David Pollack, whose family has owned the building, with addresses 1547-1559 Post Road, since the 1960s. 

Several nearby businesses on that side of the street were impacted — all from the corner of Reef Road to Chef's Table were evacuated while firefighters battled the blaze.

Felner said the town's Health Department had responded to Chef's Table, since the food establishment had suffered minor smoke damage. The Fairfield University Bookstore reopened that afternoon, as well as other businesses adjacent to it.

Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart was also on scene on Thursday afternoon. He said it was too soon to say what his department's role may be in the recovery, but that they stand ready to assist the property owners and business owners.

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