Fire Near Yale University Burns 14 Buildings

A massive fire that started at a bar Wednesday morning spread through 14 buildings, shut a section of downtown and led to apartment evacuations before it was contained.

The blaze began about 6:30 a.m., apparently at the back of the Brass Monkey bar, a few blocks from Yale University, fire officials said.

At least five retail businesses, including clothing shops, a furniture store, a gift shop and the bar were destroyed, city officials said. No injuries were reported, but residents of about 100 apartments were ordered to evacuate, Mayor John DeStefano said.

Other buildings had been undergoing renovations and were empty. The smoke could be seen for miles.

The city's building inspector was working Wednesday afternoon to determine the integrity of the buildings.

The Brass Monkey opened last month, catering to the city's business crowd.

"I will rebuild. I love downtown," co-owner Mark McKinley told WTNH-TV.

Sixty-six firefighters from 11 of the city's 12 engine companies battled the blaze, which was brought under control a little before 10 a.m.

The cause of the fire had not been determined Wednesday afternoon. Much of the area was expected to remain closed to traffic all day.