UPDATE (9:40 am): Health Department Director Donna Culbert has cleared Newtown General Store to reopen for business.
Newtown Hook & Ladder, Sandy Hook and Hawleyville firefighters were alerted about 7:07 am Monday of a fire at Newtown General Store at 43 Main Street.
Initially reported as a structure fire, the incident was soon downgraded to an “appliance fire.”
Deputy Fire Marshal Rich Frampton said that a gas-fired cooking range had ignited while in use. There were no injuries. Damage was minimal.
There were several employees inside the store when the fire occurred, but no customers, Mr Frampton said.
The store temporarily closed for business while fire cleanup work was underway. The town health department inspects such cleanup work and determines when the premises are suitable to be reopened.
The presence of smoke residue and fire-extinguishing chemical residue following a fire requires such cleanup work.
Store owner Pete Leone was on the scene Monday morning but unable to respond to a reporter’s telephone call seeking information on the incident.
“We are very busy right now,” a female store employee said shortly after 8:30 am.
The fire had been extinguished before firefighters arrived on the scene
Health Department Director Donna Culbert was planning to be at the store by 10 am, she told The Bee Monday morning. She hoped to be able to clear the business to reopen “in time for lunch traffic,” she said.