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Fire in high-rise building under construction

At 10:25 am on Friday 10/21 Stamford Fire Department units were dispatched to the Smyth Building construction site on the corner of Tresser Blvd and Washington Blvd for a report of “black smoke coming from the roof”.  Some FD units were on the road returning from a false alarm in the Shippan section of the city, saw the smoke and immediately headed to the area.  At 10:26 am while nearing the site the FD Shift Commander witnessed a heavy volume of fire on the roof of the building and immediately requested a 2nd Alarm.  Approximately 12 workers were on scaffolding on the exterior of the building in the area directly underneath the fire but were all able to lower themselves to lower floors and self-rescue.  Arriving FD units were faced with a daunting task in order to reach the area due to the state of construction and the limited access to the entire property.  Units proceeded to the roof where they found a fire in a large concrete trench that is apparently intended for plantings.  Construction crews in the area at the time of the fire emptied 18 dry chemical fire extinguishers on the fire and when they ran out of extinguishers they began shoveling dirt on the fire.  The brave actions of these workers undoubtedly saved the building from much more severe damage.  The building fire control systems are also incomplete which hampered firefighting operations.  Firefighters were eventually able to get an adequate water supply to the roof and completed extinguishment and ensured that the fire did not extend beyond the area originally involved.  One firefighter was injured and was evaluated by Stamford EMS but did not require transport to the hospital.  Stamford EMS supplied 3 ambulances and a supervisor to stand-by due to the danger of operating in unfinished high-rise buildings.  The 2 alarm FD response brought 5 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Rescue, 1 Deputy Chief/Shift Commander and numerous support and command staff totaling 41 firefighters.  The Stamford Police Department provided assistance and closed Bell St., the northbound lanes of Washington Blvd., and the westbound lanes of Tresser Blvd.  The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Fire Marshal.

Incident Details (if applicable):

Incident Number: 21-03549
Incident Location: 885 Washington Blvd
Incident Date: 2021-05-21 10:25:00.0


Deputy Fire Chief John Pritchard
(203) 977-5600


High-Rise Roof fire

Posted: May 21, 2021
About the Author: Captain Philip Hayes
Captain Hayes is a 31-year veteran of the Stamford Fire Department. He is currently assigned to the East Side Fire Station #4 on Shippan Avenue. In addition to his regular Fire Officer duties, he is a Public Relations Officer, the developer of the website and serves on the Departments' IT Team. He is also an avid fan of Fire Department history.
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