Bridgeport fire destroys apartment building, displaces 120 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bridgeport fire destroys apartment building, displaces 120

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120 displaced after Bridgeport fire (WFSB) 120 displaced after Bridgeport fire (WFSB)
This fire caused 120 people to be evacuated from an apartment on Charles Street. (WFSB) This fire caused 120 people to be evacuated from an apartment on Charles Street. (WFSB)
Smoke from the Bridgeport fire could be seen on Route 8. (WFSB) Smoke from the Bridgeport fire could be seen on Route 8. (WFSB)
Firefighters battle 2-alarm fire in Bridgeport. (WFSB) Firefighters battle 2-alarm fire in Bridgeport. (WFSB)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

An apartment fire in Bridgeport caused 120 people to be evacuated on New Year’s Eve.  

The fire was reported at 215 Charles St. around 6 a.m., and started as a car fire.

"It was a car fire in the garage. Multiple cars caught on fire in the parking garage beneath the building. Everybody's evacuated," said Bridgeport Assistant Fire Chief Michael Calderoni.

The fire burned for more than three hours, and part of the reason was because firefighters struggled to get enough water to the fire. Combined with the fact that the building was construction as virtually all wood, it burned very quickly.

As of a little before noon on Thursday, officials reported a collapse where 75 percent of a back wall was gone. City workers were planning an emergency demolition.

More than 100 people are homeless because of the fire, and families are in need of clothing for children, adults, food, and pet items. Families also lost all of their Christmas gifts in the fire.

To keep tenants warm, the Geraldine R. Johnson School was used as a temporary evacuation center, according to city spokesman.

The American Red Cross was called to scene and is working with the Emergency Operation Center Mobile Unit.

"The building might fall apart, we don't know yet, almost everybody lost everything they own. So we don't know yet," said Alix Michel-Mathieu, who was evacuated from the building.

Officers redirected traffic on Federal Street and Madison Avenue.

Nobody inside the building was injured, however one firefighter suffered minor injuries.

To drop off a donation, contact Scott Appleby, of the Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829, and/or the Mayor's office contact Gina Malheiro or John Gomes at 203.337.2341.

For monetary donations, contact the American Red Cross at (800)319.9935, or send to the Red Cross, C/O Charles Street Fire, 158 Brooklawn Ave., Bridgeport, CT.

The New Colony Diner said it has plans to accept donations for those displaced by the fire as well.

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