Michael Gilbertie was busy on Facebook’s Westport pages recently. He posted photos of major fires from our past. There were 2 in the same Sconset Square (then called Sherwood Square) shopping center.
One was the Carousel Toy Store:
The other was the Paint Bucket:
Remarkably, it was the 2nd fire for Carousel. It had relocated to Sherwood Square after burning to the ground in Compo Acres Shopping Center (where Solidcore is now).
Those were not the only big blazes in local history. Others included the Klaff’s block on the Post Road (across from the downtown Starbucks); Westport Lanes bowling alley (today it’s BevMax), Long Lots Junior High School, and the furniture store on Main Street (now The Gap).
The worst fire in the past decade or so was the 2011 fire at Saugatuck Congregational Church. Heroic work by the Westport Fire Department, and neighboring towns — plus fireproofing, done a few years earlier — saved the building, where Westport’s town charter was born.
In fact, it’s the Fire Department’s ongoing work, including inspections and education — that have kept our town so safe since the 1970s.