- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - Fishing was temporarily halted along a stretch of Long Island Sound on Friday following a massive fire at a Bridgeport warehouse that cut power to hundreds of homes and forced evacuations, Connecticut environmental officials said.

Pollution from Thursday night’s fire at a warehouse that is home to a roofing company and perfume-recycling company night prompted the temporary closure of fishing areas in Bridgeport Harbor and more than a 20 mile stretch along the coast from Norwalk to Milford.

Later Friday, the off-limits area was scaled back to the Bridgeport shoreline from Fairfield to Pleasure Beach, which was closed to swimming. Shell fishing remained banned from Fairfield to the Housatonic River.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it will help enforce the shutdown and examine the extent of the problem.

Environmental officials said they found a large amount of red foam from a local waterway. Airborne chemicals from the companies also were a factor, but were minor, officials said.

Fire officials said the blaze was reported before 7 p.m. Thursday and continued for hours. Firefighters were still dousing the smoldering site with water on Friday afternoon.

“There were a few chemicals involved, but none has been deemed to be hazardous and most people are being allowed to return home,” William Kaempffer, spokesman for the city’s police and fire departments, told the Connecticut Post.

“The fireballs and the heat were like nothing I have ever seen,” Mayor Bill Finch said. “Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. There was no loss of life.”

Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

About 1,500 homes were without power that was shut off as a precaution. Service was restored by late Friday afternoon.

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