Fire breaks out at waste energy plant in Bridgeport

Officials say the fire started at the Wheelabrator facility on Howard Avenue Tuesday night.

Officials say the fire started at the Wheelabrator facility on Howard Avenue Tuesday night. (6/1/16)

BRIDGEPORT - Officials say a waste energy plant in Bridgeport reopened for business Wednesday after a fierce fire damaged part of the facility Tuesday night.

The fire started at the Wheelabrator facility on Howard Avenue around 10:30 p.m.

Officials say the flames were so intense that mutual aid was called in. Forty-five Bridgeport firefighters responded to the scene, and were backed up by crews from Fairfield and Stratford. They were forced to fight the flames with foam in tight quarters.

"There was a fire underneath the boiler that involved hydraulic fluid and some of the debris underneath the boiler, and that's what caught on fire and that's why we needed foam to fight the fire," says Battalion Chief Michael Caldaroni.

Employees were present in the facility when the flames broke out, but no one was hurt.

Fire officials say the other two boilers in the facility were fine, so the plant kept running while crews fought the fire.

While the size of the facility makes reaching some areas difficult, officials say they visit the plant once a year to formulate what is called a pre-fire plan in case of emergency.

News 12 reached out to Wheelabrator for an update on the damage, but those phone calls were not returned.

According to Wheelabrator's website, it processes more than 2,200 tons of waste every day from more than two dozen towns and cities in the greater Bridgeport area.

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