A fire at a Variety store in a strip mall on Main Street in Norwalk spread throughout the building early Thursday.
Norwalk firefighters responded around 2:30 a.m. at 61 Main St., for a reported structure fire, according to Norwalk Fire Department Deputy Chief Todd Smith.
Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the Variety store and after the initial attack crews made entry and found heavy fire in the rear of the building that was quickly extinguished, Smith said.
Two upstairs apartments were evacuated at the onset.
The fire was initially reported to be stacks of magazines and newspapers. Further investigation revealed that fire had extended into the walls and ceiling of the building, he added.
The roof of the building was opened at which point heavy smoke and heat came from the skylights revealing an additional fire that was extinguished by attacking from the rear of the building by one engine company and in the front of the building by another engine company, Smith said.
After the fire was out, a reading found high toxic gas reading in the apartments above the stores and additional ventilation was performed.
Crews on scene included five engine companies, two ladder companies, one rescue company, one assistant chief, one command car, one safety officer, and two fire inspectors for a total of 37 fire personnel on scene with crews being rotated as frequent as possible out of concern for heat and humidity, Smith said.
Additionally, station coverage was provided by Westport Fire Department, New Canaan Fire Department, and Rowayton Fire Department while Norwalk units were operating on the fire ground.
Two firefighters were treated on the scene with one firefighter being transported to the hospital with a knee injury, the other suffering from dehydration returned to duty after treatment, Smith said.
The fire scene has been turned over to the Fire Prevention Bureau for investigation.
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