Employees help contain fire at business

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PROSPECT — Firefighters, helped by two quick-thinking employees, knocked down an early-morning fire at Curtis Screw Co. on Saturday.

Two third-shift employees smelled smoke in the building, at 10 Industrial Road, around 1 a.m., Fire Marshal Keith Griffin said. When they found the source of the fire, a vacuum motor, one called 911 and the other sprayed it with a fire extinguisher.

The fire was nearly out when firefighters arrived, but it flared back up, causing a wall to catch fire, Griffin said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in 10 to 15 minutes and prevented it from spreading to the roof, he said.

There were no injuries and the damage to the building was minor, Griffin said. He credited the employees’ quick response and the work of about 20 Prospect firefighters, along with mutual aid from Bethany and Cheshire fire departments, with minimizing the damage.

“It had the potential to be a lot worse,” Griffin said. “It’s a typical machine shop with oils and chemicals in there.”

Firefighters spent much of the morning using fans to ventilate the building, as the fire produced a large amount of smoke. Curtis Screw has resumed operations. Griffin said the fire was caused by an electrical short in an extension cord that ran to the vacuum motor.