Fire investigation will get underway in earnest Wednesday morning
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Hartford Fire Department investigators will be joined by state police fire marshals on Wednesday morning for a dig with an excavator through the remnants of the Heirloom Antiques and Furniture building in an effort to determine what caused the two-alarm fire.
In the meantime, crews spent Tuesday morning watering down a handful of remaining hot spots and preparing for a fire watch on the gutted building that is expected to last straight through the night.
The building, which back in the 1970's was a nightclub called Eleazer's, was completely destroyed by the stubborn fire which was discovered just before 5 a.m. on Tuesday.
Hartford Fire Chief Scott Cooney said his department had done a routine survey of the building earlier this year and determined that if there ever was a fire there it would be too dangerous to have firefighters make any sort of entry absent the need to rescue someone.
Ownership of the building had changed just last month and some renovations were planned, including the addition of a gym facility, but the chief said it was simply too early to tell where the fire began inside the building or to speculate on a cause.
The downhill lanes of Route 5 were closed off beginning at the Skyes Mountain Avenue intersection for the better part of eight hours on Tuesday but they were re-opened to traffic early Tuesday afternoon.
With so many items inside the antique shop, including stacks of furniture on the lower floor, the fire is expected to smolder throughout the day Tuesday
Thousands of gallons of water were being pumped into the structure throughout the morning
American Red Cross volunteers brought cold drinks, sandwiches...and candy...to the scene for the fire crews
The initial story on the fire, "Two-Alarm Fire destroys Heirloom and Antique Furniture shop" is here:
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