Fire crews in Southington respond to house fire, hazmat situation at same time, requiring large mutual aid response

Fire crews in Southington respond to house fire, hazmat situation at same time, requiring large mutual aid response


SOUTHINGTON — Firefighters worked for about an hour to extinguish a house fire on Flanders Road and dealt with a 220-gallon chemical leak from a tractor-trailer in a Queen Street parking lot Wednesday morning.

No injuries were reported in either incident. Interim Fire Chief Eric Heath said the effort to fight the fire was hampered by staffing issues, as firefighters were dispatched about 7 a.m. to a hazardous material call in the Price Chopper parking lot off Queen Street.

Battalion Chief James Paul said crews were dispatched about 7 a.m. for a report of a chemical leaking from tractor-trailer on Interstate 84 east before Exit 32. The tractor- trailer was relocated to the Price Chopper parking lot on Queen Street. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded.

Heath said there was no danger to the public. According to Paul, the tractor-trailer was carrying two chemicals. About 220 gallons of one chemical leaked from the tractor-trailer.

Paul said he knew what the chemicals were, but couldn’t release their names.

An environmental cleanup firm responded, as did state police. Paul said fire crews were expected to be tied up on the call through Wednesday afternoon.

The house fire was reported about 9 a.m. at 1198 Flanders Road. Due to the hazardous materials call, the department called in fire crews from Bristol, New Britain, Plainville and Cheshire to assist. Heath said the department also called in “task force 54” — a group of firefighters from Simsbury, Avon, Farmington, Canton, Burlington and parts of Granby — to assist in coverage of the town.

Heath said the fire appears to have originated from an oven on an exterior porch. It made its way inside and up into the attic. One person was home at the time and wasn’t injured.

Heath reported “significant damage” to the back side of the house. The roof of a four season room had to be cut to ventilate smoke. There was also water damage. Eversource Energy and an official with the town’s building department responded. The fire remains under investigation.

There were difficulties fighting the fire due to the home’s distance from the road. Heath said firefighters stretched between 1,000 and 1,200 feet of hose to reach the home.

He noted the fire was “a lot of work and tiring” for firefighters, but commended their response and thanked other fire departments that responded for their assistance.

Police closed a section of Flanders Road during the response. The house, built in 1972, is owned by Philip Bodey and Jayne Cluett, according to town records.

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