Connecticut News

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Longtime Shelton firefighter dies at age 61

A 45-year veteran of the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. and former captain, died at age 61 on Monday. Joseph Kunzik was trained as a master duty diesel mechanic and worked through the Union of Operating Engineers Local 478 until his retirement in November. “Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co.1 regrets to announce the passing of past captain and life honored member Joseph Kunzik,” the fire company announced Tuesday. “Joe was a 45-year veteran of the department, serving as captain in 1991. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kunzik family during this very difficult time.” Kunzik was also a long-time member of the Adratic Marchegian Club in Derby. According to his death notice, “He was the beloved brother of Jane Ochman and her husband James and uncle of Robert Ochman. Joe will be missed by his many cousins, especially Teddy Kunzik along with numerous friends. He was predeceased by several aunts and uncles.”
Connecticut Post

2 hurt in Guilford house fire

Two people were hurt during an overnight house fire in Guilford. According to fire officials, the call came in for a fire on Three Corners Road around 1:50 a.m. on Thursday. They said it started on the second floor near a main entrance and spread to the roof. Firefighters reported difficulties due to ice on the roof. Mutual aid responded from Madison and Branford. However, they said the fire was quickly knocked down. The exact cause has yet to be determined. The two people who were hurt suffered only minor injuries and did not need to be sent to the hospital. The fire marshal was called to the scene to investigate.
WFSB-TV CBS Channel 3

Fatal drug overdoses rising: Town-by-town view of 2019 deaths

New Haven had among the highest amount of residents who died of overdoses in 2019, according to figures released by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Hartford had the most with 96 residents dying of a fatal overdose in 2019 — an increase of more than 30 percent compared to the 62 who died in 2018. With 91 resident deaths in 2019, Waterbury also had a marked increase in fatal overdoses, up by about a third from 2018 and more than twice as many residents than the 44 who died in 2017. New Haven had 58 residents die of a fatal overdose in 2019, up from 41 in 2018 and in 2017. The statistics are based on the number of residents who died of accidental fatal overdoses in 2019 and are not necessarily reflective of the amount of people who died of overdoses in each town that year.
Wilton Bulletin

Fairfield and Westport Fire Departments respond to blaze near highway

A joint effort between the Westport and Fairfield Fire Departments stopped three separate large brush fires along Interstate 95 from spreading on Wednesday. According to a release from the Fairfield Fire Department, the Fairfield Emergency Communications Center was contacted at 2:25 p.m. on report of a brush fire between Exit 18 and Exit 19. When Fairfield fire units responded a large brush fire was discovered to be spreading across 3 acres. Units worked from multiple locations to establish a water supply to battle the fire. Traffic on the northbound side of the highway was briefly stopped but quickly reopened, the press release said. The fire was brought under control at 3:15 p.m. At the same time Fairfield units were on the scene of this fire, Westport fire units were extinguishing another brush fire on Interstate 95 in the area of the exit 18 Sherwood Island connector.
Westport News

Ellington Fire Department wants a new truck for $750,000

The Volunteer Fire Department asked to replace a fire truck, at a cost of $750,000, during the selectmen’s presentation of their capital improvements budget request to the Board of Finance on Tuesday evening. Capital improvement budget requests total $2.47 million, but the Finance Board has yet to approve any of them. The money for the fire truck would be paid through a lease, which wouldn’t exceed the $750,000 figure. Fire Chief Jay Rich said the truck would standardize the fleet and cut down on training and servicing costs. Rich explained that the new truck would be used for rescue as well as pumping water. “It has capabilities to do vehicle extrication,” he said. “It can pump water at a fire. It does two functions in one truck.”
Journal Inquirer

Smoke reported at Danbury frozen food office building

Multiple fire crews were called to Old Sherman Turnpike Wednesday afternoon, after a caller reported smoke, according to dispatch reports. The caller told dispatchers the building at 7 Old Sherman Turnpike had been evacuated shortly before 2:30 p.m. Firefighters who arrived on scene moments later said there was smoke present on the ground floor of the office building, which dispatchers said holds American Frozen Foods. “There’s definitely something burning in here, we’re searching now. Room 107,” a firefighter told dispatchers. One hydrant near the building was reportedly not working, but firefighters said another near the building was in service. As the crews arrived at Old Sherman Turnpike, they received another call for a man with a medical issue on Osborne street.
New Canaan News

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Putnam Fire Chief Raises Concerns Over Time Spent Responding to Downed Power Lines

When fierce winds and storms bring down power lines, Chief Robert Campbell said that the top concern for the Putnam Fire Department is safety. "Power lines can kill anyone in a second and a lot of people are unaware of the danger," said Campbell. His crews go to a scene to make sure no one approaches the downed line and that everyone stays safe. However, Campbell said that his department, made up of 35 volunteers, is spending more time than they should at the calls. "We are not here to babysit power lines," Campbell said. According to Campbell, some volunteers in Putnam have spent anywhere between two to 24 hours sitting at the scene of a downed power line, waiting for the electric company, Eversource, to arrive or shut the power off.
WVIT-TV NBC 30 West Hartford

3 Taken to the Hospital After New London Apartment Fire

Three people were taken to the hospital, one with serious burns, after an apartment fire in New London Tuesday. Fire officials said they were called the fire at 96 Michael Road Tuesday evening. Three people were taken to the hospital, and one is being transferred to the Bridgeport burn center for treatment. The fire was ruled accidental, caused by unattended cooking on the stove. No other details were immediately available.
WVIT-TV NBC 30 West Hartford

Multiple fire departments called to battle Suffield house fire

Several are fire departments have responded to assist the Suffield Fire department battle a house fire Tuesday night. According to emergency officials, fire fighters were called to 3895 Phelps Road shortly before 6 p.m. for a structure fire. Other departments were also called in for their tankers, including the Lost Acres Fire Department from Granby, East Granby, Southwick Massachusetts and the CT Air National Guard. Officials said the house was unoccupied at the time of the call. The road is closed in the area of the fire and motorists are urged to seek an alternate route.
WFSB-TV CBS 3 Hartford

Car fire reported at Danbury auto body shop

Fire crews responded to a car fire reported at a auto body shop off Federal Road Tuesday morning. Two fire engines were called to 100 Federal Road for a report of a car fire at the auto body shop between the Kia and Chrysler dealerships. Fire crews hooked up to a hydrant shortly after they arrived. The fire marshal, who is responsible for investigations into the cause of a blaze, was also called to the scene. The flames were reported extinguished by 11:09 a.m. An ambulance was also called to the same address at 11:17 a.m. for a report of person a back injury, but it was not immediately clear if that injury was related to the fire. Fire crews left the scene by 11:35 a.m.
New Canaan News

Southbury storage unit fire under investigation

Fire officials are trying to determine what set a storage unit ablaze over the weekend. Firefighters were dispatched to a report of a storage unit on fire at 1200 Main Street South shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday. After quickly extinguishing the fire, crews spent about two hours overhauling, according to a post on the Southbury Fire Department’s Facebook page. The fire happened on the former Romatic Manufacturing Company property. The Southbury Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause.
Connecticut Post

25-Foot Camper Catches Fire In Branford

A 25-foot camper parked in a Branford driveway caught fire Monday night. It was captured on a Neighbors app video. Branford Fire Chief Thomas Mahoney told Patch that just before 10 p.m., a camper trailer fire was reported on 12 Shady Lane. As seen in the Neighbors app video, the homeowner said they first head an "explosion" followed by the fire. In the video, fire can be seen at a distance and emergency vehicles can be seen and heard. Mahoney said the fire destroyed the camper a truck and the house sustained heat damage before being extinguished by firefighters. There were no injuries. The fire cause is under investigation.
North Branford Patch

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