BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – A three-alarm fire and explosions at the Tradebe Facility last week have prompted an ongoing investigation that is expected to take several weeks. Despite the severity of the incident, officials have stated that they do not believe it to be a criminal act. Fishing in the area remains prohibited as tests on the water continue.
The incident occurred on Bishop Avenue, East Avenue Cross Street of Bridgeport around 1:54 p.m. Friday. Initially reported as a major fire at Standard Oil on Bishop Avenue, first responders found a large fire at the Tradebe Facility on Cross Street.
The fire resulted in one person sustaining burns, and two others suffering from smoke inhalation. While one person was admitted to Bridgeport Hospital, the other two were discharged. As a safety precaution, Bridgeport Police evacuated a two-block radius and urged residents to seek shelter in place. Additionally, Bridgeport Public Health advised individuals to wear masks and stay indoors to avoid smoke exposure.
According to fire department reports, the incident seemed to involve a delivery of approximately 4,000 gallons of a low-grade oxidizer. An explosion occurred when the driver opened a valve, followed by several smaller explosions. The fire was eventually brought under control, and residents and businesses were allowed to return after air quality tests determined the area to be safe.
While cleanup efforts and water sampling continue, fishing in nearby brooks and streams remain prohibited as of Monday. Sgt. Paul Makuc, of the Connecticut State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit, anticipates that the investigation will take several weeks. However, he stated that there are no immediate signs of criminal activity related to the incident.
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim has requested city agencies to work closely with Tradebe and other facilities that store or use chemicals to improve neighborhood notifications and awareness.
As of the latest testing on Saturday, Dec. 30, fishing remains prohibited in the nearby brook and Johnson Creek. The investigation into the cause of the fire and explosions continues, with Tradebe cooperating and ongoing cleanup efforts in place.