An intense blaze that erupted where homeless people were staying resulted in the closure of a Binghamton bridge.

City firefighters were sent to the VFW Memorial Bridge on Bevier Street around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday when several people reported a fire under the span.

Smoke was seen on both sides of the bridge when the first engine company arrived on the scene. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze with a single water line.

The VFW Memorial Bridge on Bevier Street was closed after a fire damaged the structure. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The VFW Memorial Bridge on Bevier Street was closed after a fire damaged the structure. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. Broome County - which owns the bridge - and the state Department of Transportation were notified of the blaze.

It was not known how many people had been living under the bridge. The encampment was located on the east side of the Chenango River, a short distance from Chenango Street.

Various items littered a fire scene under the bridge on Bevier Street on December 14, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Various items littered a fire scene under the bridge on Bevier Street on December 14, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Clothing, cooking utensils and a grill were among the items damaged by the fire.

The heat generated by the blaze reportedly caused some warping of the steel structure under the bridge.

The Binghamton police and fire departments are investigating the fire.

A football poster displayed on a wall under the VFW Memorial Bridge in Binghamton on December 14, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A football poster displayed on a wall under the VFW Memorial Bridge in Binghamton on December 14, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Bevier Street was closed between Front and Chenango streets while engineers inspected the bridge. The center lane of the bridge is expected to remain closed for several days while repair work is underway.

Broome County public works commissioner Roger Brown urged drivers to use alternate routes when possible.

VIDEO: An inspection of the fire damage under the Bevier Street Bridge over the Chenango River.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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