Over 100 displaced after Bridgeport condo fire

Officials say it may have started as a car fire underneath the building.

Officials say it may have started as a car fire underneath the building. (1/1/16)

BRIDGEPORT - More than 100 people are displaced after a massive fire destroyed a Bridgeport condo complex Thursday.

Rescue crews used ladders to remove several people trapped in their Charles Street condos around 6 a.m.

The fire chief says it started with a car fire in the garage on the first floor.

"It was all truss construction with wood, which is a situation where if we do have a fire here, it spreads quite rapidly," Chief Brian Rooney says.

Officials say part of the building collapsed, and the rest will be torn down.

The city has set up a temporary shelter for residents at the Geraldine R. Johnson School.

Mayor Joe Ganim came to the scene to show support for the victims, who will begin 2016 without their homes. He took one family shopping for new clothes.

The American Red Cross says that with the help of Bridgeport Emergency Management, they have helped about 80 people, or 11 families, find places to stay for the weekend.

City Councilwoman Jeanette Herron says that many of those families have young children, but says the outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous, with dozens of donations coming in.

The New Colony Diner next door to the complex on Charles Street says that people can stop by and donate to the victims. Clothing, toys and baby food have been collected so far, and the diner owner says his customers have stepped up tremendously to help.

Red Cross officials say the fire has also affected some nearby homes. They say that they are working with those victims as well.

They also say that anyone who still needs assistance can give them a call.

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