Route 68 reopens after fire put out

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A portion of Route 68 was closed today for several hours as firefighters battled a fire at Pisani Steel Fabrication. RA ARCHIVE
NAUGATUCK — A half-mile stretch of Route 68, or Prospect Street, has been reopened and a fire at Pisani Steel Fabrication is under control.

A portion of the street, from the Locust Street intersection to the Union City Road intersection, was closed at 8:30 a.m. as firefighters worked to cool an acetylene tank that caught fire at Pisani Steel Fabrication.

According to Fire Chief Ken Hanks, a malfunction with the regulator caused the tank to catch fire, shooting flames three feet into the air.

Firefighters moved the tank outside, away from an oxygen tank, and doused it with water to keep the tank cool while they waited for the contents to burn off, Hanks said.

Hanks said there was no way to shut off the leak, but the cool water made sure the metal doesn’t rupture and explode.

Between 15 and 20 workers were at the plant at 360 Prospect St. when the fire was noticed, but they all escaped uninjured, Deputy Fire Chief Ellen E. Murray said