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Norwich auto yard fire forces evacuations in the area

Emergency crews battled a huge fire at an auto recycling yard in Norwich on Thursday.The fire broke out at Boy...

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 6:48 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2018 6:49 PM

Emergency crews battled a huge fire at an auto recycling yard in Norwich on Thursday.

The fire broke out at Boyd's Auto on Corning Road on Thursday afternoon.

Fire officials said hazardous flammable liquids were involved and the surrounding area was evacuated. Dozens of homeowners who live in the area who were evacuated went to Bishop School.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen for miles, and filled the area surrounding the auto yard.

Norwich Public Utilities said power was cut to about 75 customers as a safety precaution.

"I was here to make sure the gas was shut off and to check anything the fire department needed in terms of water supply," said Bill Blake from Norwich Public Utilities.

Blake is a field technician with NPU, but this fire hits close to home for him. He lives houses away from Boyd's and he was able to capture video of the large flames.

"It was pretty scary for a while, it really was. Because the way the wind was going, the flames were going right to my neighbor's house. I was afraid ti was going to burn down both houses, I really was," said Blake.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection investigators tested the air quality and ground for possible oil contamination, and homeowners were told it was safe.

The damage is severe. Thirty-five cars and a metal building where the fire started are charred. A worker draining a gas tank accidentally sparked the fire.

"It was a mechanic working on a vehicle and he drilled through and spilled some gasoline, which caught from the the spark of a portable drill. Which caught to his clothing. He took the clothing off and it caught fire and away we went," said chief Kenneth Scandariato of the Norwich Fire Department.

No injuries were reported.

Scandariato said one of the items that helped spark the fire was one of the workers gloves.

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