Officials warn of illegal fireworks use following Bridgeport apartment fire

Fifty-nine residents were displaced by an apartment fire at the PT Barnum Apartments in Bridgeport on the Fourth of July, and now fire officials are issuing a warning about illegal fireworks usage.

News 12 Staff

Jul 6, 2020, 7:03 PM

Updated 1,439 days ago

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Fifty-nine residents were displaced by an apartment fire at the PT Barnum Apartments in Bridgeport on the Fourth of July, and now fire officials are issuing a warning about illegal fireworks usage.
No one was injured in the incident.
Deputy Chief James Buck was one of nearly 50 firefighters battling the fire, which began around 8:45 p.m. Saturday.
Buck, who has been with the department for 26 years, says they used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to combat the fire.
"When you're flowing that much water, the water will follow gravity, and unfortunately, the water damage here was the primary source of damage for the residents that are currently displaced," Buck explained.
Displaced residents spent the last couple of nights at local hotels with the help of the American Red Cross.
Some residents came by the boarded-up apartments on Monday to salvage what was left of their belongings.
Carmen Alverio, who has lived in the apartments for 27 years, was among those who cleaned up at the apartment complex.
"It's sad... A lot of people lost everything, but not me," Alverio said.
Deputy Chief James Buck said witnesses claimed they saw fireworks on the roof right before the fire broke out.
Fireworks have not been confirmed as the cause, as that is still under investigation.
Buck did say, however, the illegal use of fireworks can lead to injury or fires.
"Leave the fireworks to the professionals, and that's the best fire safety tip we can give," Buck urged. "We don't want to see injuries or an increase in fires and both can occur with illegal of fireworks."
The Housing Authority is supporting all costs as they work to help residents like Alverio find temporary housing.
The Asset Management Team, along with the Housing Authority, will see which units are salvageable.
Some of the residents may be ready within a week, but others may not be cleared to come back.


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