The New London Fire Department quickly extinguished a fire that broke out this afternoon at the historic Huntington Street courthouse.
The fire was reported at 2 p.m. at the original structure of the New London Superior Court. Battalion Chief Tom Curcio said a plumber working inside the building accidentally started the blaze and it spread into the walls and attic space.
Curcio said fire crews were able to run a line into the building and put out the fire within five minutes. The Sub Base FAST fire crew and Waterford Fire Department were also called to the scene.
"Everybody on duty is here at this fire," said Curcio.
The original wooden structure is adjacent to a modern addition of the New London Superior Court. The buildings were evacuated after the fire broke out. The New London Police Department is blocking traffic at the western end of State Street as well as Huntington Street between Jay Street and Governor Winthrop Blvd. while crews work on scene.
Firefighters were working to overhaul the building to check for any extension of the flames, tearing off siding and roofing.
The original courthouse is the oldest one in Connecticut, replacing an original courthouse and town hall burned in the American Revolution. Construction began in 1784 and was completed in 1814. The courthouse was moved to its present location in 1839.
The courthouse has been undergoing renovations recently, including a recent restoration of the front facade. Scaffolding was still in place in the rear of the building near the start of the fire, and firefighters were using it and a ladder truck to access the site.