Pearl Street fire contained within minutes by Willimantic FD

·2 min read

Jun. 23—WILLIMANTIC — A person dissembling a car on Pearl Street Tuesday evening set the vehicle and nearby debris on fire. In a report issued Wednesday morning, Willimantic Fire Chief Marc Scrivener said the fire was reported at 5:48 p.m. at 13-15 Pearl St.

He said the fire occurred in an alleyway near a house.

Scrivener said no one was injured during the fire.

Firefighters saw a smoke column as they pulled out of the fire station.

Scrivener said Willimantic Fire Capt. Kevin Theriault elevated the incident to a first alarm, a working fire assignment.

"Due to the quick and decisive actions of Capt. Theriault and his crew, the fire was knocked down and contained within mere minutes of the 911 call," he wrote. "We're happy to have prevented the fire from breaking into the adjoining house. There are many close structures in the neighborhood and this could easily have spread to many of them."

Theriault directed firefighters to stretch a line and water was on the fire at 5:52 p.m.

According to Scrivener, the fire was declared "knocked down" at 6:01 p.m. and under control at 6:05 p.m.

" We started mutual aid when we went to the first alarm but we canceled it," he said.

According to Scrivener, on arrival, firefighters noticed that a resident had been dissembling a car with an oxygen/ acetylene torch and caught the car and nearby debris on fire.

He wrote that the siding on the house was melting and two windows had cracked from the heat of the fire.

Windham Fire Marshal Michael Licata said Deputy Fire Marshal Michael Walker responded to that fire. He said when emergency responders flipped the car over, it burned a little bit of the corner of the garage, but there wasn't significant damage.

Licata said the fire burned the outside of the garage but didn't spread to the inside.

Scrivener said it looked like the power line above them was melted so emergency responders reported that to Eversource.

"We were concerned that it might short out," he said.

Scrivener said the car was "largely dissembled" when the fire began and the person working on the car was looking to "scrap it."

He noted that there are a lot of items piled in the alleyway.

Windham Director of Development Matthew Vertefeuille said his code enforcement staff haven't gotten any complaints about that property, but they are looking at it today.

Follow Michelle Warren on Twitter — @mwarrentc.