Bridgeport firehouse reopens, but concerns remain

BRIDGEPORT - Local officials expressed concern Thursday about whether a firehouse that reopened two weeks ago after extensive renovation is structurally sound.

The partial restoration of the firehouse, located at 245 Ocean Terrace in Bridgeport, came with a price tag of $1.1 million, which is about half of the sum needed to complete the repairs.

Although the floors have been renovated and the firehouse is now back in business, Rep. Robert Keeley (D-Bridgeport) says the roof is in desperate need of repair, which will cost another $750,000.

According to town officials, for the first time in history, the state footed the bill for the renovation of a fire station, but they say it was a necessary step.

The firehouse was closed last year because of a floor collapse. During that time, three local residents were killed in three separate fires in the West End part of Bridgeport.

Now town officials say they hope this investment will make the neighborhood feel safe in case there is another emergency.

?I'm thrilled for the West End because we didn't have fire protection, and that was a tragedy,? Keeley says. ?Three people died, and that should never happen in Bridgeport ever again.?

Because the firehouse is built on a landfill, and it is already sinking into the ground, the State Bond Commission is considering moving the firehouse to another location in the West End area.

For full coverage of House Speaker Amann announcing funding for a Bridgeport firehouse, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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