Propane gas grill catches fire


Hazmat technicians burn off the remaining propane with a flare tower. (Cory Gripp photo)

The Emergency Communications Center received a report on July 17, at 5:52 p.m., of a propane gas grill on fire in the rear yard of a Northwood Road residence.

The Fairfield Fire Department responded within minutes with four engines and two ladder companies. Engine 3, stationed only one block away, arrived on scene and extinguished the fire with an extinguisher under the command of Lt. Darrick Lundeen.

Soon after the fire was extinguished, personnel noticed that propane gas was leaking from the valve area of the 20 pound cylinder. Personnel monitored the air using combustible gas meters and determined that the concentration was not a hazard to area residences.

Personnel were unable to stop the leaking gas so a determination was made to conduct a controlled burn under the direction of Hazmat technicians Philip Plante and Thomas Pond.

With equipment borrowed from the Fairfield County Hazardous Incident Team, technicians on scene were able to burn off the remaining propane using a device call a flare tower. Without this tool, escaping propane, which is heavier than air may, have found an ignition source.

“Quick thinking by the son alerting his mother of the fire with quick notification of 911 and a speedy response by emergency crews prevented this from becoming a real tragedy,” Assistant Chief Erik Kalapir said.


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