BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- Firefighters were working on stubborn hot spots all day after a fire broke out at an empty factory on Hancock Street in Bridgeport Thursday night.
Fire investigators are still trying to determine what started the fire.
Nearly 24 hours later, 20 firefighters were still on the scene, working to put out hot spots. The challenge, they say, is that they're forced to fight the fire from outside.
"There's a lot of damage the farther in the building it is the harder it's going to be to get to because we can't put anyone inside we have to get it all from the outside," Assistant Fire Chief Robert Morton explained.
Normally he says they would send firefighters inside to fight the fire, but the building is not safe to enter.
"Chief of the department put out an order that no one goes inside, so we now need to do this from the outside, which is a good move," Morton said.
He says the fire appears to be right in the middle of the building.
"We're putting water in here where we think it is and we're not directing the water where it should be going, so we shut down the water supply, let it burn a little bit so I can get a better idea visually of where it is and then redirect the assets to put it out," he explained.
He says they'll be out there as long as there's still smoke coming out, which has caused poor air quality in the area all day.
"If you have any health hazards, if you live nearby I'd say stay indoors but there are no residents in the area and this goes 30 feet in the air then just dissipates," Morton said.
The fire caused delays on the Metro North Rails, but the big problem was how firefighters were suffering in the brutal heat.
"Just standing still with all the gear on you're carrying about 60 pounds more than your own body weight," said Morton.
With temperatures soaring into the 90s, firefighters had to be especially careful not to get overheated.
"We just want our guys to drink a lot when they're here," Morton said.
The Red Cross was on the scene to help with that.
"We've had 10 volunteers here providing mass feeding drinks and snacks to more than 150 firemen throughout the course of the blaze," said Abner Katzman, from the American Red Cross.
They also set up a cooling station inside their truck for firefighters to stop in and cool off.
"We have our air conditioner going in the emergency response vehicle in case any firefighter gets overheated," Katzman explained.
The extreme heat led the fire department to make changes to how they worked the fire.
"Because this is outside I've authorized the guys to take their coats off," Morton said. "Still got to wear helmets and bunker pants, it's extremely hot."
He says they took breaks and switched up rotations quicker than they normally would to make sure every firefighter was getting time to cool down.
"As for how hot it gets with all the gear temperature wise, I couldn't tell you how much hotter it is, but your body can't breathe, everything stays trapped," Morton explained.
The fire was still smoldering Friday afternoon and Morton says they were prepared to be there well into the night.
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