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February 20, 2014

Explosion in Stamford apartment building displaces four families

Four Stamford families were displaced Wednesday after an explosion at a Main Street dwelling, a Stamford Fire Department official said Wednesday night.

Don Van Etten, Stamford’s first-assistant fire chief, said the fire department was dispatched at 11:46 a.m. to the Main Street residence, where they remained for the majority of the day.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, Van Etten said, a great deal of smoke was visible and two of the building’s tenants were standing on the front lawn, saying there had been an explosion. The building, located at 59 Main Street, has four apartments, Van Etten said.

The explosion was caused by a propane leak in the basement and lower apartment, Van Etten said, and two of the exterior walls were blown off the foundation in the blast. The explosion occurred after the propane was somehow ignited, Van Etten said, but investigators are unsure of how this happened. He said the Delaware County Cause and Origin team and other county coordinators are further investigating the cause. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a small fire that occurred after the explosion, Van Etten said.

Van Etten said only two tenants were home at the time of the explosion, and neither one was injured because they were in an upstairs apartment.

Members of the American Red Cross were present at the scene, Van Etten said, assisting the four uprooted families in finding temporary shelter.

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