Fire at Greens Farms Elementary School

November 8 2016. At 9:17 AM the Westport Fire Department responded to 17 Morningside Drive South, Greens Farms Elementary School for the reported fire on the outside of the building. First arriving fire department units found a fire on the exterior of the building in the area of the natural gas service and requested the additional units to assist. Although gfelfire11081601apopschool was not in session the school was open as a polling station for today’s presidential election and the building was evacuated by firefighters with the assistance of Westport Police Department. The fire was quickly extinguished with damage being limited to a plastic fence and the surrounding landscape and the building was quickly reoccupied so that voting could continue. An investigation into the cause of the fire found that the cause was improperly disposed of smoking material.

The Westport Fire Department would like to remind everyone to use care when discarding any smoking material. With the ongoing drought the ground and landscape has dried out enough that brush and forest fires have become a concern. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has set the forest fire danger at “moderate” and given the upcoming forecast the landscape and forests will continue to dry. With this in mind, we would remind everyone to please completely extinguish any discarded smoking material, carefully dispose of any hot charcoal only in a metal can with a tight cover, and obey the local ordinance with regards to open burning.

………..Explosions and fire followed a crash tonight of a tanker truck carrying sewage on I-95, sending the

News 12 CT Photo

News 12 CT Photo


flaming driver’s cab tumbling down an embankment at the north end of the Saugatuck River bridge. The driver was killed, according to fire officials. Heavy smoke and fire from the crash could be seen from the other side of the Saugatuck River.  They said another vehicle was involved in the crash on the southbound side of the bridge shortly before 7 p.m. and that the driver,  was charged with driving under the influence. The highway was reopened southbound at 5:32 a.m. Thursday.

“There were three more explosions after it went off the highway,” one witness told News-12 Connecticut. “It was so loud – boom, boom, boom, and a few minutes later it died down and then it just rocketed up again.”

Another man said: “There was a fire as high as the trees. And there was another boom.”

News 12 CT Photo

News 12 CT Photo


The overturned tanker portion burned on the highway and sewage leaked from its ruptured tank as northbound traffic passed by, witnesses said. The driver’s cab apparently came to rest amid some trees on Underhill Parkway at Elaine Road, not far from the Westport Animal Shelter and Westport’s sewage treatment plant. Police closed off entrances to Underhill Parkway and Elaine Road.

The explosions could be seen across the river on Saugatuck Avenue as well as from the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge over the Saugatuck. Traffic on I-95 was shut down in both directions. About an hour later northbound traffic was allowed to resume.

Westport police and fire units responded and requested assistance from Norwalk, Fairfield, and Wilton. Westport also called in off-duty police and firefighters to help handle the scene and the resulting traffic jams. At least one 18-wheel tractor-trailer got stuck on the Cribari Bridge, resulting in a backup on Greens Farms Road that stretched to Hales Road. Representatives of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner arrived on the scene after 10 p.m. Crews from Connecticut Tank Removal also arrived to help clear the wreckage.

Emergency responders were told to expect to be on scene through the night.

Westport fire officials requested a canteen truck from Milford to help sustain the responders at the scene.

The driver’s body was reported extricated from the truck at 2:39 a.m. Thursday, more than seven and a half hours after the crash.