Excavation Equipment Catches Fire Near Terminal in New Haven

A large piece of excavation equipment caught fire at Gateway Terminal in New Haven on Monday.

The flames and smoke got the attention of many drivers who could see the incident unfolding from nearby Interstate 95.

No injuries were reported, according to the New Haven Fire Department, and the investigation continues to find out what sparked the fire.

It was a scary and very smoky evening for Kelvin Nevarez, of New Haven, who was arriving at work near Gateway Terminal during the fire.

“I was just walking in," he said, and he could not miss what was happening on Waterfront Street.

“I saw the big flame over here; lot of smoke," Nevarez said. "The whole street was covered in smoke.”

Firefighters said a large piece of excavation equipment, typically used to move scrap metal, somehow caught fire.

Photos from the scene showed large flames and smoke that was visible around New Haven Harbor and along a stretch of Interstate 95.

Firefighters used foam to extinguish the flames and to keep the fire from spreading to anything else that was close by.

“There’s a whole bunch of oil tanks over here. That’s scary," said Nevarez. "I live right around the corner and it’s a concern.”

Authorities said there was extensive damage to the excavator, which had an approximate value of $1.2 million.

Some details about safety protocol could be found on the website for Gateway Terminal.

“Our equipment is in top working condition both on dock and off dock to guarantee maximum efficiency and 100% safe utilization at all times," the website reads, in part.

“I just hope that whatever it was, they got it taken care of and it won’t happen again," said Nevarez.

Waterfront Street reopened to traffic on Monday night.

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