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Bridgeport, Connecticut, industrial fire forces hundreds to evacuate

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[September 12, 2014]  (Reuters) - An overnight fire at a Bridgeport, Connecticut, industrial building forced about 400 nearby residents to evacuate and caused a large power outage in the area, officials said on Friday.

The blaze started on Thursday evening at a building that housed a perfume company, the city fire department said in a statement.

The flames grew so hot that they melted the sidings on houses across the street, the department said.

Three firefighters were taken to a local hospital for treatment of heat and smoke-related complications after battling the blaze, but were expected to be fine. No other injuries were reported, the department said.

The department said perfume containers and other chemicals inside the building had burst after becoming superheated, causing explosions that sent massive fireballs into the night sky.

Virtually all of the city's firefighters tried to control the flames, the statement said.

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"The fireballs and the heat were like nothing I have ever seen," said Mayor Bill Finch in the statement. "Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. There was no loss of life."

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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