One lane of the Boston Post Road was closed to traffic and store owners and employees in the plaza were unable to leave due to the charged fire hoses that blocked the entrance.
The long, L-shaped plaza is built with fire breaks between stores, but it has a shared roof and when a fire breaks out, as it did in a ceramic store several years ago, the smoke can spread quickly affecting several businesses.
Orange responded quickly to this call and requested Woodbridge’s assistance. They also asked for the RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) from Milford Fire to come to the scene. — RIT is a designated crew that will serve as a stand-by rescue team for personnel and be available for the immediate search and rescue of any missing, trapped, injured or unaccounted for firefighter(s).
Store owners up and down the plaza stood in the parking lot and in their doorways watching as firefighters vented the building.
Paula’s Wig Shop, a longtime Orange business seemed to have sustained the most damage. The owner stood in shock in the parking lot, comforted by a young man, until the scene was cleared and Fire Marshal Tim Smith let her inside to see what was left of her livelihood.
So, what’s the good news? The one store, (just about 4 storefronts from the source) the Gun Shop, was the first in the row that wasn’t really affected. Employees were going in and out to see what was going on throughout the ordeal. A fire in that location could have been absolutely catastrophic.
Luckily, no one was hurt this morning.
Orange Live will update this story with the official report once we’ve spoken to authorities.