Bridgeport Tradebe Facility Fire Investigation Pointing Towards Accidental Cause, Fishing Still Prohibited

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – An investigation into a three-alarm fire and explosions at the Tradebe Facility in Bridgeport is expected to take weeks, officials said. The incident, which occurred last week, does not appear to be a criminal act. Fishing remains prohibited in the area as water testing continues.

The initial calls reported the incident to have happened at Standard Oil on Bishop Avenue, but crews found a large fire at the Tradebe Facility on Cross Street. One person was burned in the fire and two others suffered smoke inhalation. They were all taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where one was admitted. The two others were discharged, officials said.

Bridgeport Police evacuated a two-block radius, closed roads and told residents to shelter in place while Bridgeport Public Health advised people to wear masks to avoid any smoke exposure and to stay inside. The fire was under control as of 3:19 p.m. and residents and businesses were allowed to return at 4:25 p.m. after air quality was determined to be safe.

As crews tested the air quality and run-off into the storm drains and nearby brooks and streams, fishing in the nearby brook and Johnson Creek was prohibited. Fishing remains prohibited as testing on Saturday, Dec. 30 showed that it was still not safe to fish in the nearby brook or Johnson Creek.

Sgt. Paul Makuc, acting commanding officer for the Connecticut State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit, said the investigation will likely take a few weeks and the investigation team feels that it does not appear to be criminal. Cleanup continues and more water samples will be taken. Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim has asked Bridgeport Emergency Management, the fire department, and the Department of Public Health to work collaboratively with Tradebe as well as other facilities that store or use chemicals within the city on ways to increase neighborhood notifications and awareness.