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Condo Fire Heavily Damages Harvest Commons Unit

A stubborn basement fire early today heavily damaged an end unit at the Harvest Commons condominium complex at 1275 Post Road East but caused no injuries, fire officials said.

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Westport firefighters at the Harvest Commons condominium unit after daybreak today investigate the cause of the early morning blaze. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

At one point, as a crew in the basement worked to extinguish the fire, conditions on the first floor deteriorated as the floor became spongy due to heavy fire below, said assistant Chief William Dingee.

He ordered firefighters out of the structure due to the potential collapse of the floor above –- an order backed up with a special tone on all firefighters’ radios and repeated sounding of a siren on an engine in front of unit No. 506.

Firefighters had to resort to putting a hose through a hole through the floor with a sprinkler-like nozzle that sprayed water in all directions. Deputy Chief Robert Kepchar said he could not recall the device being used in Westport since the 1982 Dickson Building fire across from the old post office.

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