ENFIELD, Conn. (WWLP/WTNH) – Fire crews and police officers were called to a fire at the Artoli Dodge Ram Chrysler car dealership in Enfield on Friday morning.
Route 5 between Elm Street and Brainard was closed in Enfield at around 8:45 a.m. as crews from several fire departments assisted in putting out the fire. The Thompsonville fire chief said firefighters were working to put out hot spots around noon.
“As we were responding to the reported structure fire, there was heavy smoke and flames already in the air,” said Thompsonville Fire Department Chief David Deskis. “The first initial crews tried to attempt to put the fire out in service bays but the fire was too heavy and it actually moved into the showroom.”
It is a family-owned business that has been part of the community for decades.
“We’ve been here since 1975, and we’re not planning on going anywhere,” said Bob Artioli, owner of Artioli Chrysler Dodge RAM.
The owner told News 8 that employees were there at the time of the fire, with one being treated for smoke inhalation. News 8 was told they are OK.
“Our employees are very heroic. They tried to put it out with the fire extinguishers, but it was just overwhelming,” Artioli said.
Officials said it was unsafe to enter the building as it has been heavily damaged by the fire, and the building will have to be demolished.
WATCH: Drone footage from scene of Enfield car dealership fire
“We’ll rebuild. It’s just a building. Everyone got out safe, that’s the main thing,” Artioli said.
The community is rallying around the Artioli family, hoping to help in any way they can.
“The community is always great. The town here in Enfield, the businesses across the street who are bringing food to our firefighters and for our employees,” Artioli said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the local and state fire marshal.