Intense flames engulfed the three buildings just off East
No one was injured in the fire, Battalion Chief
Other residents said the flames were so brilliant, they could be seen from miles away.
"It looked like an explosion," said
"Though we are saddened by the loss of the buildings under construction, the most important thing is that no one was injured fighting the fire," said DEEP Commissioner
The buildings, which housed a concession stand/dining area, public restrooms and an office, were scheduled to open
While the overall state expenses for improvements at the park was
The project was controversial, with residents opposing the problem for reasons including cost, environmental impact and crowding in an already busy part of town.
According to Fabrizi, firefighters received 911 calls about the blaze at East
As the probe started into the fire, Capt.
"It's an ongoing, active investigation," Williams said. "Our officers are going to be down here around the clock until the investigation is completed."
The general contractor on the project is
Despite opposition from state and local officials, the state
Park advocates said the community's resistance to the proposed improvements was because
"It doesn't matter what we think is going to happen," Rose said. "It matters what is going to happen. From what I understand, the buildings have not yet been turned over to the state. One question I am getting is, insurance? That will fall to the developer. I'm going to assume they are going to collect on the insurance and rebuild."
With the cause of the fire still under investigation, Rose said she was told by DEEP officials that there were some heaters in one of the buildings that was scorched by the fire.
"That will be a full investigation," Rose said.
"The fire that destroyed critical infrastructure at
Despite strong local opposition to the park improvements, many of the residents who walked down to see the aftermath of the fire said they were disappointed to see the damage.
"This is devastating to the community," said Bianchi, who has lived in
She said it's a busy state park and should have facilities such as bathrooms.
"It's an improvement," she said. "Any improvement is bliss."
A strong supporter of the building project, she said: "I was just devastated." She is a vendor on one of the nearby beaches in the summer and welcomed the development.
"I'm kind of established here. I feel like it's good for me," Koutikas said, explaining that it would bring greater traffic to the area and with it, new customers.
Koutikas, who lives nearby, was among those struck by the power of the fire. From down the street, he watched as the flames rose.
Williams said investigators are hoping citizens in the area may have seen people coming and going from the state park near when the fire happened. They are asking anyone with information to call DEEP dispatch at 860-424-3333.
Courant staff writers
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