PHOTO: Several families were displaced by a two-alarm fire that tore through an Iranistan Avenue residence Wednesday afternoon, sending one resident and three firefighters to the hospital.
The call came in around 4:30 p.m. for a reported structure fire at 1042 Iranistan Avenue. As fire units rushed to the scene, the dispatcher said multiple people were reporting black smoke coming from the three-story home.
The first unit was on scene just minutes later and confirmed heavy fire and black smoke coming from the dwelling, as well as an occupant hanging from a third-floor window.
A rescue company was able to get the occupant from the window using a ground ladder, according to fire officials. A second-alarm was struck because of the volume of the fire and the humidity.
Next week, for the first time in some 75 years, the Pickering family will not have a presence in the New Canaan firehouse.
After 30 years on the job, Firefighter Jim Pickering is retiring. His official last day is Sunday, Aug. 25.
“I would have stayed if not for an opportunity that fell in my lap,” Pickering said.
Jim Pickering volunteered to be a firefighter on Sept. 11, 1980, and was hired to start a paying job July 31, 1989.
“I think fires burn hotter and faster,” Pickering said of changes in his decades as a firefighter. ‘Look around, everything is plastic.” A positive, however, is in the increased use of fire alarm systems in private dwellings.
“We used to get a call from a neighbor that a house was on fire, then get a half dozen more calls,” Pickering said. “With alarms there is earlier detection.”
Alarms also detect the presence of carbon monoxide, causing more responses, but saving lives.
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In an effort to reduce on-the-job injuries, the Common Council has approved funding for an injury prevention program for the fire department.
“An injury prevention program for the Norwalk Fire Department would focus on improving firefighter mobility and stability to prepare for dynamic environments required of firefighters,” Fire Chief Gino Gatto wrote in a letter to Common Council. “Currently, no such program exists within Norwalk Fire Department.”
The council approved a five-year agreement with First Response Health and Wellness LLC to provide the program for the department for $187,500 for the duration of the contract. There’s also an opportunity to extend the program for an additional five years for $193,125.
The Westport Fire Department responded to a manhole explosion on Wednesday on Railroad Place.
Officials said crews found smoke coming from a manhole and the cover displaced.
That’s when firefighters quickly determined that an explosion had occurred.
According to the department, an excavator unintentionally dug up a live underground power line at a construction site on Franklin Street.
No injuries were reported.
Eversource responded to the incident to assess the situation and make sure the area was safe.
It’s estimated that repairs will continue until Thursday morning.
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