Late night blaze destroys Conn. bell factory

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Associated Press

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Updated Monday, May 28 at 11:02 AM

EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (AP) — One of the oldest continuously operating factories in Connecticut that made bells has been destroyed in a weekend fire.

The blaze at the Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Co. factory in East Hampton started at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. More than 30 fire departments helped to bring it under control.

Bevin Brothers was the last of a once-thriving industry that earned East Hampton the nickname, "Belltown, USA."

It manufactured more than 700,000 sleigh bells a year and its products were featured in Hollywood's Christmas classic, "It's A Wonderful Life," and at football games and ski races.

The Hartford Courant reports (http://cour.at/KV1ZQx ) that the Connecticut Region 3 Incident Management Team said propane tanks in the factory caught fire and exploded, helping spread the blaze.

Residents in the immediate area were evacuated late Saturday night and power was cut.

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