Updated: BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The Bridgeport Fire Department's fireboats and personnel were dispatched to battle a smoky fire at an old AGI Rubber Factory site near the Stratford Avenue Bridge.
The factory is at Stratford Avenue and Kossuth Street. tThe massive fire has closed Stratford Avenue, or Route 130, between Kossuth and Water streets, according to the state Department of Transportation.
“Firefighters continue working hard to put out the blaze,” Bridgeport Public Safety spokesman Kevin Coughlin said Friday afternoon. “We encourage folks traveling in the area to steer clear until the fire is out.”
The large fire sent up clouds of smoke that were visible from nearby I-95 and across the city of Bridgeport.
At 1 p.m. Friday, firefighters responded to a small blaze at the old AGI Rubber Factory at 141 Stratford Ave.
They were able to put out the blaze, but at about 2:15 p.m., reports came in of a larger fire at the same site, Coughlin said.
At least seven Bridgeport fire companies were dispatched to the scene, and the fire boat and stingers were being used to combat the large blaze, he said.
The American Medical Response set up a relief station at the scene.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, Coughlin said.
According to a press release from Coughlin, which also cited the Connecticut Post, AGI produced rubber washers, gaskets and grommets from the 1940s through the 1970s.
Nine buildings are on the 2-acre site, which has seen several arson fires, including blazes in January 2015, November and September 2014, September 2013, June 2012 and July 2004.
The city took the property through foreclosure, according to the press release.
In May, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced it was awarding a $200,000 grant to the City of Bridgeport to clean up the property.
Plans are to raze the rundown buildings at the site, Coughlin said.
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