19 displaced in Bridgeport apartment fire

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The cause of a fire at a Bridgeport apartment building that left 19 people homeless is electrical-related, investigators say.

The fire happened inside an apartment building at 430 Barnum Ave. on the east side of the city Thursday just after 8:30 p.m.

Authorities say the fire was electrical in nature, beginning in the basement and sending thick smoke throughout the building. The gas company and United Illuminating were called to the scene to shut off services to the building.

Nobody was injured, but some of the families say they're devastated by the turn of events and are now homeless in the cold weather.

City Councilwoman Jeanette Herron says she's worked with hundreds of families displaced by fires and it's never easy - especially as the weather turns cold.

"Nineteen people to be displaced in cold weather, not knowing where they're going to go tomorrow is not something we need in Bridgeport or anywhere," says Herron.

The American Red Cross is assisting in providing one night at a motel but does not extend coverage.

Herron says the City Council is working on an ordinance, drafted by Michelle Lyons, that would decrease the number of non-family members who can live in the same apartment. They're drafting it in hopes of reducing the chronic problem of overpopulated households, which can create a safety hazard.

 

 

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