- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) - Firefighters from several towns battled a blaze Thursday at a tire warehouse that sent up smoke that could be seen for miles and led city officials to urge people who live and work nearby to stay indoors. No injuries were reported.

The fire at the Toce Brothers Co.’s warehouse was reported at about 8 a.m. The company was using the building to store at least 300 tires, co-owner Janice Toce said.

“We don’t really know what happened,” Toce said. “It keeps on reigniting because of all the tires in there.”

Fire Chief Gary Brunoli said the smoke was creating unhealthy conditions. State environmental officials responded to the scene to monitor air quality and clean up water runoff from the fire that was going into the Naugatuck River.

Dozens of nearby homes were evacuated and several streets were closed. A local school cancelled afternoon kindergarten.

Tom Stansfield, deputy director of the local health district, recommended that people shelter in place.

“As with any smoke incident … this can be a significant irritant to people with underlying health risks,” he said.

Fire officials expected the blaze to continue burning into the night.

The cause is under investigation.

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