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Fire guts soccer store
Updated On: Jul 01, 2008

Working Fire During Heat Wave Guts Soccer Store

Norwalk Hour Staff Writer
June 10, 2008

An electrical fire sparked inside an East Norwalk soccer equipment store Monday morning, injuring no one but destroying all the merchandise.  A business owner and passing motorist both reported the blaze at Soccer with Aldwin, 21 First St., at 8:32 a.m., Deputy Chief Robert Talloni said. The store was not open for business, and no one was inside at the time. Smoke poured into the two apartments on the building's second floor.  "Right now the whole building is unfit for occupancy," said Cedric Goo, a housing inspector for the Norwalk Health Department.  Firefighters contained the flames before they could spread to two surrounding businesses in the same building. Bliss, a pest removal business, and Creative Hair Salon both contained potentially hazardous materials, Talloni said.  Bob Schraer, a volunteer for the Mid-Fairfield County Chapter of the American Red Cross, said four people live in the two apartments above the business, and the organization is working to provide temporary housing.  One dog was rescued from the scene and taken to a shelter for smoke inhalation treatment, Talloni said.  Louis Caruso, an inspector for the Norwalk Fire Department, said that an extension cord caused the fire.  "It was just kind of compromised because something was placed on top of it, and it just pinched the cord," he said. The department has concluded its investigation.  Chris Condors, co-owner of Condor Press next door to the burning building, said the sound of broken glass alerted him to the emergency.  "Once that front pane window broke, the fire just rushed right out, right over that overhang and took off," he said. As his wife, Karen, dialed 911, he ran to the stairwell of the apartments and called for people to evacuate. One elderly woman emerged, he said.  The owner of the soccer store, Aldwin St. George, said he was at the store's soccer academy program in Greenwich when the fire started.  St. George said he won't give up on the business so easily and will establish a new store. In the meantime, soccer lessons will continue.  "The great thing is that nobody got injured," he said.


Photo by Matt Vinci, Norwalk Hour Photographer




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