Bridgeport firefighters battle 11th fire in 4 weeks

(WTNH / Report-It / Matilde Romero)
(WTNH / Report-It / Matilde Romero)
(WTNH / Report-It / Matilde Romero)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Bridgeport fire crews fought their 11th fire in the past four weeks Wednesday, the third fire in the city in just the past week.

“We had Hanover Street last Friday during the day, Monday during the day we had Lindley Street, and now this,” said Bridgeport Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli. “This is very, very unusual.”

Just after 12:15 p.m., firefighters responded to a vacant multi-family house fire at 118-120 Arctic Street. Fire officials say crews found heavy fire in the rear of the building upon arrival, with smoke and flames coming from all floors.

“During the primary search, the fire conditions got so intense that we pulled firefighters out for their own safety,” said Petrucelli. “We didn’t want to put any under any undue risk.”

Many of the structures that have caught fire recently are vacant. City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez says vacant or boarded-up homes should be dealt with immediately.

“It’s a bad situation no matter what,” said Martinez. “An empty house is a bad situation for everybody in the community.”

Martinez placed some blame on the banks, who she says own many long-vacant homes in the city.

“I believe the bank should work better with us,” she said. “If they’re empty and could be saved, we could find people in the community that could fix them and give them a home.”

The Arctic Street home sustained heavy damage, and the heat melted siding on a neighboring home, officials say.

There are no reports of injuries from the fire.

The fire marshal is now investigating what caused the blaze.

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