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Man found dead in Meriden apartment containing hazardous chemicals

Man found dead in Meriden apartment containing hazardous chemicals

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Local, state and federal agencies are investigating after a man was found dead in a Hanover Road apartment containing hazardous chemicals.

Police, fire and environmental cleanup crews responded to a hazmat situation following reports of an untimely death Thursday in the apartment above Fair Weather Antiques on Hanover Road.

Crews responded to 763 Hanover Road on Thursday around 11:55 a.m. for reports of an unresponsive male on the kitchen floor.

According to police, a 37-year old man living on the second floor was later pronounced dead.

Hazardous chemicals and substances were found inside his apartment.

Fire crews along with the FBI, federal Drug Enforcement Agency, state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Meriden Health Department responded.

A box truck for hazardous materials, affiliated with Environmental Services Inc., was also on scene.

According to DEEP, testing revealed trace amounts of chemicals in the apartment. Officials did not disclose the type of chemicals.

Crews were on scene until just before 8 p.m. 

Police officers were sent to the hospital due to possible exposure to the chemicals and later released. 

Police said there were no signs of foul play nor any signs of altercation and the cause of death is currently unknown. An autopsy will be conducted by the state medical examiner. 

According to police, there is no immediate danger in the area.

Leda Weathers, owner of Fair Weather Antiques, said police did not tell her what was happening during the incident on Thursday. Police and fire crews were going into the apartment, which has a separate entrance, but did not tell her to close or evacuate. She didn’t know the residents who lived in the apartment. 

“They were very mum,” Weathers said about the police presence. “I can understand why.”

Despite repeated requests from the media, information from police came 24 hours after the initial call for a “medical assist” was listed on the police dispatch website. Mayor Kevin Scarpati called this “unacceptable.”

“This just goes right along with the need for more information to be made available to the public and ourselves as elected officials,” Scarpati said Friday. “Neighbors were concerned and it’s not appropriate. We will need to ensure everybody is brought up to speed and we share as much information as we can.”

Reporter Mary Ellen Godin contributed to this story.
Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ