CT Oil Refinery Blaze Forces Evac

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 @ 05:11 PM gHale

Investigations are underway into what sparked a fire at an oil refinery in Stratford, CT, late last Tuesday night that left a firefighter injured.

Flames broke out at the Total Petrochemicals and Refining building on Ontario Street, just before 10:30 pm. When Stratford Firefighters arrived, they evacuated everyone inside due to heavy flames and smoke billowing through the roof.

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“An aggressive attack by first-arriving fire crews were able to confine the fire to the manufacturing dust-collection system, which collects zinc dacrylate, which is blended with zinc dimethacrylate and heptane to produce a proprietary component for use in the manufacture of golf balls among other items,” said Stratford Deputy Fire Chief Jon Gottfried.

“Due to the physical nature of the chemicals that the firefighters were exposed to while in the process of extinguishing the fire, the Fairfield County Hazardous Material Response Team was summoned to the scene to conduct on-site decontamination of the firefighter’s protective gear and equipment prior to leaving the scene,” Gottfried said. “Additionally, a field response coordinator from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was requested to respond to the scene to oversee the cleanup process at the plant.”

Dozens more firefighters ended up called to the scene to battle the blaze.

One firefighter suffered a facial injury and emergency workers transported him to Bridgeport Hospital where he ended up treated and released.

The duty shift commander declared the fire under control around 1:45 a.m. But firefighters remained on scene until almost 3:15 am.

Six engine companies and one tower ladder responded from Stratford Fire with 33 personnel, additionally seven specially trained hazardous materials technicians responded from Fairfield County Hazardous Materials Response Team to conduct decontamination operations.

The Stratford Fire Marshal’s Office is conducting an investigation into the cause of blaze.