Cause of Beacon Falls blaze undetermined

Firefighters battle a fire at a building at 234 Rimmon Hill Road in Beacon Falls Aug. 29. -BEACON HOSE

BEACON FALLS — The investigation into a fire that destroyed a former meat-packing facility on Rimmon Hill Road concluded last week with the official cause of the blaze ruled undetermined.

A fire gutted a building at 234 Rimmon Hill Road Aug. 29. Beacon Hose Co. No. 1 responded to the fire at about 2:35 a.m. The fire burned for hours, and firefighters from five surrounding towns responded to provide mutual aid. Officials demolished the building to help extinguish the fire.

Deputy Fire Marshal Cal Brennan, who is also a captain with Beacon Hose, said investigators completed the investigation into the cause of the fire Sept. 9. He said the fire started inside the loading dock area of the building. Although investigators were able to locate the area where the fire started, Brennan said there were several possible ignition points in the area and investigators couldn’t determine 100% where exactly the fire ignited. This led to the cause being labeled undetermined.

Brennan said the investigation found no evidence that any incendiaries were used to start the fire.

The fire proved to be a challenging one for firefighters to extinguish. There are no fire hydrants in the area, and firefighters established a tanker task force and shuttled water to the scene from Route 67 in Oxford.

Also, the building, a former meat-packing facility, had thick concrete walls and a thick rubber roof, making attacking the fire difficult. Wooden pallets, debris and old insulation inside the building served as fuel for the fire.

The meat-packing facility closed in the mid-1980s, and the building was used for secondary storage for a greenhouse business. No one was in the building at the time of the fire. The owner of the property is listed as Joann A. Reilly, who also owns the home next door, according to town records.