A neighborhood recovers after blast levels house; 24 homes without heat
Posted on 12/23/2009 NORWALK HOUR NEWSPAPER Hour Staff Reports
Neighbors of an Ohio Avenue Extension house leveled by a gas explosion Tuesday night say it was like nothing they have ever experienced. MacKenzie McNeill, who lives across the street, said the explosion sounded like a "boulder falling on my house. Then I heard the woman who lives there screaming. She was screaming so loud ..."
A man, woman and baby all escaped the explosion. Only the man was admitted to the hospital with injuries. The Red Cross said the mother and baby stayed with family last night. The names of the family members have not been released. Norwalk Fire Marshall Glen Iannaccone said that they believe the gas leak started in the street and made its way into the family's basement. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the leak. State Rep. Christopher R. Perone, who lives within a half-mile of the explosion site, said he called Yankee Gas Co. Wednesday morning to ask the company to restore gas service to his neighbors. "The situation is 24 homes are without gas. What we don't want is people without heat in 18 degree weather," Perone said. "That's the problem. It's just a bad time of year for that. So I'm just pressuring them to restore service as soon as possible." John Morgali who lives four houses down from the explosion said he also heard the screams of help from the mother. He said a neighbor took the baby from her and to safety. "The man looked OK while being taken away on the stretcher," said Morgali who explained that the man fell from the second story of the house. "He was just staring back at the house." The gas supply in the neighborhood has turned off and is not expected to be turned back on until 4 p.m. today. Norwalk City Hall has been open and is being used as a shelter for anyone without heat. Residents impacted by the event should contact Yankee gas at (800) 942-7529. The Norwalk Fire Dept notified residents in the area about the shutoff at 5:45 a.m. using the Notify Norwalk (Code Red) system, according to fire officials.
Four IAFF Locals Respond to Methanol Tanker Fire on I-95 in Fairfield, Connecticut
November 12, 2009 – Four Connecticut IAFF locals were called to the emergency scene after a tanker truck was reported on fire on I-95 in Fairfield, Connecticut, November 9. The truck was said to be carrying 6,800 gallons of methanol, a highly flammable liquid.
Initially, every available Fairfield Local 1426 fire apparatus plus the county’s HazMat team which consists of Local 1426, Norwalk Local 830, Wilton Local 2233 and Westport Local 1081 responded.
Both the north and southbound lanes of I-95 were shutdown so fire fighters and emergency crews could focus on dousing the fire and containing the hazardous material. Additionally, nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution.
“When fire fighters arrived, a lot of flames were coming from the tanker, so the first concern was to get the tanker cooled down as quickly as possible, preventing the tanker and the methanol inside from getting too hot and causing an explosion,” says Local 1426 President Bob Smith.
Foam trailers were on standby, but it became clear early on that the tanker’s tires, rather than the tanker itself, were on fire. (It would later be determined that a vehicle malfunction caused the tires to catch fire.) Therefore, fire fighters were able to use water to put out the fire.
Several I-95 northbound lanes were soon reopened, but were closed again after a vehicle accident and the offloading of the methanol from the tanker. Meanwhile, Fairfield Local 1426 fire fighters worked to prevent the spread of the liquid should the tanker rupture.
“This situation could have quickly gone awry if our fire fighters had not been close by and able to promptly to cool down the tanker,” says Smith. “The incident commander and Local 1426 member Scott Bisson and all of the fire fighters on the scene are to be commended for a job well done.”
Once the scene was cleared, all lanes were open to traffic. The incident spanned about six hours.
Article courtesy of www.iaff.org Posted November 13, 2009
Norwalk Firefighters responded to a fully involved garage fire at 11 Academy Street on Wednesday, November 11. Stations 1, 2 and 5 responded. The fire was quickly brought under control by companies on scene.
Shown in the picture are Firefighters Steve St. Onge and Fort Capomolla
<a href="http://www.thehour.com/story/473702/">Fire sinks boat in Long Island Sound</a>
By Steve Kobak Norwalk Hour Staff Writer
Three people escaped injury late Wednesday afternoon after their boat caught fire near Hoyts Island in Long Island Sound, filling the air with plumes of smoke that were visible in West Norwalk. The Norwalk Fire Department responded to the fire at 5:49 p.m., and the Marine Division of the Norwalk Police Department had already helped the boat's occupants to safety, according to Capt. Read Auerbach, of the Norwalk Fire Department's Marine Division. The U.S. Coast Guard joined the Norwalk Police and Fire Departments in responding to the fire. Auerbach said the fire was contained 10 to 15 minutes after the fire department responded. The boat sank while police were towing it and, as of 7:30 p.m., the fire department was still trying to contain the oil that was spilled during the incident. Auerbach said fire officials had not yet determined the cause of the fire and had not yet interviewed the occupants of the boat. Norman Haughey was driving from East Norwalk to Sunset Grille shortly before 6 p.m. and he saw the black smoke filling the sky. The restaurant, which is located at Cove Marina and owned by his sister, burned down in October 2005 and Haughey hoped tragedy hadn't struck again. When he arrived at Sunset Grille, he was happy to see the restaurant was standing, although some of the smoke had drifted to the marina. "The whole area was covered in black smoke and it stunk, too," he said.
The operator of a motorcycle was killed Sunday morning after his bike collided with a vehicle in South Norwalk, police said.
The accident occurred at about 1 a.m. on Sunday near where Water Street meets Hanford Place, said Sgt. Praveen John, of the Norwalk Police Department. Police did not identify any of the parties involved and were still working to prepare a detailed report Sunday evening.
A motorcyclist carrying a female passenger was apparently struck by a vehicle making its way through the intersection, John said.
The operator of the motorcycle died at the scene, he said. The passenger was taken to Norwalk Hospital with "serious injuries," John said.
Hospital spokesperson Maura Romain did not return calls by press time.
Nursing Supervisor Caron Balitsas classified the condition of the female patient as "satisfactory."
"That's all I can tell you," she said.
Norwalk Police also had little information to give regarding the early morning accident. A detailed report would not be prepared until an overnight supervisor returned to work the following day, police said Sunday.
The incident is still under investigation, John said. Norwalk Police would not released the name of the deceased until his next of kin were notified.
No arrests have been made, John said.
At the scene Sunday afternoon, pedestrians strolled passed Hanford Place oblivious to the tragedy that had occurred there hours earlier.
Light tire markings could vaguely be seen across from the West Marine boating shop. A thick pool of blood on the other side of the road was left covered in sand.
The only other evidence of an accident that remained were some broken pieces of what appeared to be the plastic shell of a black motorcycle and a few discarded Latex medical gloves on the sidewalk.
The nearest establishment still open at the time of the accident was Donovan's & Mackenzie.
Bartender Hannah Myers saw the first indications of a tragedy shortly after she announced last call for alcohol at about 1 a.m., she said
"Just judging by the amount of activity, I knew there had to have been a horrible accident," said Myers.
Firefighters stop construction loader fire Norwalk firefighters respond to a construction loader on fire in a fenced-in holding area off the entrance ramp at Exit 2 northbound on the Route 7 connector Tuesday. (Norwalk Hour Photo)
An early morning blaze tore through a Flax Hill Road house Tuesday, leaving a family of four without a home. The fire began on the first floor of the two-and-a-half story home at 364 Flax Hill Road and quickly extended to the second floor, according to Deputy Chief Steven Shay. "The mother came downstairs and noticed heavy smoke and got everyone out of the house" said Shay. Three residents were home when the fire began and no one was injured in the incident. Firefighters arrived at the home at 7:24 a.m. and the fire was extinguished in a half-hour, Shay said. "The fire was really going by the time we got there," Shay said. The house had to be gutted and was deemed uninhabitable, according to Shay. During the time of the Flax Hill Road fire, city firefighters also had to respond to a small basement fire at 31 Macintosh Road. The Rowayton and Stamford fire departments lent mutual aid to the Norwalk Fire Department. The Red Cross was onseen to offer assistance to the family but the family said it would stay with relatives, Shay said.
Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.
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