Dan Esty, the commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection will be in Waterbury late Wednesday afternoon to tour the site of Saturday’s massive fire at the former Nova Dye & Print factory at 313 Mill Street. The factory  sits on the edge of the Mad River, which flows directly into the Naugatuck River. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, who will tour the site with Esty and Waterbury Fire Chief Dave Martin, said there is concern that contaminants from the factory will make there way into the watershed, thus the visit from the state’s champion of environmental protection. Photographs by John Murray

The fire started in the late afternoon of April 7th, and within minutes was raging out of control. Mayor O’Leary, who was one of the first on the scene, told the Observer yesterday that he believes it was arson because the building was engulfed in flames within minutes. An official investigation is underway to determine whether it was arson or not.

Firefighters from Waterbury, Wolcott, Watertown, Naugatuck, Middlebury and Cheshire responded to the fire, which raged late into Saturday night.

Massive amounts of Waterbury was blasted into the building, but at no time did any firefighter enter the structure. Mayor O’Leary said the Waterbury Fire Department had already labeled the factory a “no enter” structure even before the fire started.

The entire neighborhood around the fire was without power for almost 24 hours, creating an eeire mix of smoke, and light from emergency vehicles.