NORWALK, Conn. -- Several businesses suffered major damage when a structure fire broke out at a strip mall in East Norwalk Thursday afternoon.
The Norwalk Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 8 Roger Square at 2:37 p.m. Thursday. The fire was located in the Ludlow Shopping Center, a one-story strip mall that contained seven businesses including a variety store, dry cleaner, a restaurant and a florist, fire officials said.
Upon arriving, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the front and rear of the variety store, which was located in the middle of the mall. The engine company quickly attacked the fire with a hose line from the front to keep the fire contained. Fire officials said that the crew was met with high heat and zero visibility due to the smoke. Meanwhile, a ladder company in the rear of the building forced doors open and cut holes in the roof to allow smoke and heat to be released.
The variety store was a total loss and the surrounding businesses all suffered major damage due to the fact that firefighters had to cut holes in the roof to check for fire spread, according to fire officials. All the businesses suffered smoke and water damage to some degree.
The fire was placed under control at 4:45 p.m. and firefighters remained on the scene checking for hot spots and assisting fire marshals.
All of Norwalk's 33 on-duty firefighters responded to the scene with five engines, two trucks and a rescue and command car, along with Stamford and Westport truck companies. Stamford, Westport and New Canaan firefighters helped with fire station and EMS coverage while Norwalk firefighters were at the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Norwalk Fire Marshal's division along with the Connecticut State Police.
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