Bridgeport Facing Multi-Million Dollar Claim Over Lack of MSDS for Fire

The City of Bridgeport, Connecticut is facing a multi-million dollar claim by the owner of a warehouse that burned in 2014. The owner, 25 Grant Street LLC, has filed a claim with the city alleging the fire department made the chemical fire worse by applying water. The claim is a necessary predicate to filing a lawsuit.

According to the claim, fire personnel on scene did not have access to MSDS information in the early stages of the incident despite the fact that it had been submitted to the city. As a result firefighters applied streams of water when the MSDS indicated that water would cause the fire to intensify. quoted the owner’s attorney, Michael Stratton, as saying “They were basically pouring gasoline on fire.”

The claim identifies as possible defendants the city, the fire chief, the fire marshal, the emergency management chief, and all first responders who served in a supervisory capacity at the incident. The EPA has been overseeing cleanup at the facility since the fire, and has incurred costs in excess of $2.3 million. The owner is also seeking compensation for the rebuilding the structure and lost revenue.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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