Thread: Conn. LODD

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Conn. LODD

    Rest in peace brother Richard. May God comfort your family, friends and fellow firefighters.

    DANIELSON, Conn. (AP) - A volunteer firefighter driving to a
    lumberyard blaze was killed when his pickup truck crashed into a
    utility pole and tree Sunday evening, fire officials said.
    Richard Cusson, 32, of Dayville, was on his way to the fire
    station to get his firefighting gear when his truck went off
    Westcott Road at about 6 p.m., South Killingly Fire Chief William
    Auclair told the Norwich Bulletin.
    Auclair said Cusson apparently was ejected from the truck.
    Authorities were investigating whether the fire at the former
    Tripp Lumber Co. at Furnace and Cottage streets was an arson. No
    one was injured fighting the fire.
    Fire officials said the blaze began shortly before 5 p.m. in a
    barrel in one of several connected storage buildings. The fire
    destroyed several buildings and a large warehouse.
    State police and officials from the state fire marshal's office
    were working with local authorities to determine whether the fire
    was set by a serial arsonist whom officials believe started fires
    in Killingly and Pomfret.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

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    Firefighters hose down the inside of a vacant Danielson lumberyard Sunday. A South Killingly firefighter was killed in a crash responding to the fire.

    Full text of local news article follows. I was on standby with my department (Mortlake) for this fire and our ambulance responded to the scene to replace KB Ambulance when they were called away from the fire scene standby for the MVA. Had a third aerial been requested, we would've been due

    Fire involved the coal & lumber sheds of a lumberyard that has been closed approximately five years, with a steady breeze out of the south that was sending up fire brands and down on the Borough. Williamsville & South Killingly were called for apparatus to go on fire brand patrol plus manpower for the scene.

    Monday, July 1, 2002

    Firefighter killed responding to fire
    A serious blaze in a Danielson lumberyard is suspected to be arson.
    By DON BOND and, MICHAEL LEMANSKI
    Norwich Bulletin


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DANIELSON -- Tragedy struck the South Killingly Fire Department Sunday night, when a suspected arson involving a vacant Danielson lumberyard led to the death of one of its members.
    Firefighter Richard Cusson, 32, of 231 Slater Hill Road, Dayville, was driving through town at about 6 p.m. Sunday when he spotted department members and apparatus south of the fire scene.

    South Killingly Fire Chief William Auclair said Cusson apparently did not have his pager and was unaware a blaze had ravaged a large section of the former Tripp Lumber Co. at the corner of Furnace and Cottage streets.

    "He (Cusson) was returning to the fire station to get his firefighting gear when the accident occurred on Westcott Road," Auclair said.

    According to Auclair, Cusson's Ford Ranger 4-by-4 pickup went off the road a short distance east of the intersection of Mashentuck Road, slamming into a utility pole and a tree.

    Auclair said Cusson apparently was ejected from the vehicle.

    "I recognized the truck as soon as I got there," said Auclair, who was the first firefighter to reach the scene. He said he checked Cusson's vital signs, but was unable to find any sign of life.

    "This is tough, really gut-wrenching," a visibly shaken Auclair said later upon returning to the fire. "When it's one of your own firefighters, it really hits home."

    Auclair said Cusson had been a member of the department for about three years.

    State police still were working on the accident and other incidents Sunday night and had no additional information by late Sunday.

    Afternoon blaze

    Danielson Fire Chief Richard Levola said the fire apparently started shortly before 5 p.m. in a barrel in one of several connected storage buildings lining the western side of the lumberyard, adjacent to the Providence & Worcester Railroad tracks.

    "It was called in as a trash fire," Levola said. "But then something caused the fire to erupt and it quickly spread in both directions."

    The fire quickly consumed several buildings before jumping to a large warehouse at the south end of the complex.

    That building was gutted and a demolition company was called in after the fire was brought under control to knock the building down.

    "We need to demolish it so it won't create a safety hazard," Fire Marshal Joseph Roy said.

    The only building left unscathed was the large, two-story office and showroom at the intersection of Cottage and Furnace streets.

    A cement firewall prevented the fire from spreading to that building, Levola said.

    Firefighters from East Brooklyn, Dayville, South Killingly and Williamsville (Rogers) assisted Danielson firefighters. No injuries were reported at the scene.

    Several detectives from the state police Eastern District Major Crime Squad, along with investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Bureau were working with local officials in the fire investigation.

    Fire officials said one unidentified person was arrested at the scene after reportedly disobeying an order from a trooper to move back. Police had no details Sunday night.

    Roy said investigators hope to determine if the fire was set and, if so, if it was the work of a serial arsonist who torched several vacant buildings in Killingly and Pomfret in late December and early this year.

    The arsonist has not struck since he nearly was apprehended by state police after attempting to ignite a shed near Quinebaug Valley Community College.

    Investigators are also looking at the possibility the fire could have been started by youths living in the mostly low- to moderate-income neighborhood nearby.

    Levola lauded the work of his department and the mutual aid companies. "The firefighters all worked together very closely and very well," the chief said.

    Members of the Danielson Fire Auxiliary provided refreshments for firefighters who battled the heat as well as the fire. Domino's Pizza also sent several pizzas for the fire crews.

    Smoke, then flames

    Meanwhile, witnesses on both sides of Furnace Street reported heavy smoke at first, then -- according to some -- there was an explosion and, shortly thereafter, high, raging flames.

    Residents in the neighborhood indicated firefighters told them there may have been an old propane tank on the vacant site.

    Marcy Constantino, 25, lives in an apartment building adjacent to the A.D. Tripp site. She was one of the first witnesses to the fire.

    "I was in my bedroom doing my nails and my upstairs neighbor screamed my name and said, 'Come and look at the smoke,'" Constantino said.

    Constantino, who has lived in Danielson about a year, went in and grabbed a disposable camera to take some shots.

    "The roof started to smoke a lot. We were just awestruck," she said. "And then the flames. I got my camera and took pictures of the fire. The flames were huge. Oh my gosh, the flames were past those trees."

    She said she feared the flames could have leaped over a stone wall, through some trees and onto her apartment building.

    "We were scared, because we were so close," Constantino said. "We heard pops and booms. We kept running back because we could feel the heat too."

    Terri Banks, who lives across the street from the old lumberyard, called it a "firestorm."

    "It was almost like a firestorm," Banks said. "At first, you could only see smoke. You couldn't really see anything. Then, it erupted. It was like a firestorm."

    Meanwhile, neighborhood resident Sean Naulty observed the fire on the north end of the site. He, too, arrived on the scene shortly before firefighters arrived.

    "We were feeding the baby and my mother said there was smoke," Naulty said, adding firefighters were quick to arrive. "The came out of the woodwork, the fire departments. Those guys were awesome."

  3. #3
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    Unhappy Funeral Held

    DANIELSON, Conn. (AP) - A firefighter who was killed while
    heading to a fire was remembered Wednesday as a man dedicated to
    helping others.
    Richard Alan Cusson, 30, was killed Sunday when he lost control
    of his truck and hit a utility pole and tree. He was driving to the
    South Killingly fire station to fetch his equipment to fight a fire
    at a lumberyard in Danielson.
    State police said arson was the cause of the fire, which they
    are investigating. No suspect has been arrested.
    "Ricky Cusson was one of the kindest, soft-spoken and loyal men
    I've ever known," Jaye Cusson-Malone said in his eulogy. "His
    commitment to helping others blessed him with immortality, for
    immortality is achieved through the number of people's lives
    affected."
    Cusson, one of three family members who belonged to the South
    Killingly company, was the first firefighter in the fire
    department's 45 years to die in the line of duty.
    He was a volunteer firefighter in South Killingly for four
    years.
    Family members, friends, firefighters and emergency medical
    personnel from town and departments as far away as Waterbury and
    Clinton gathered Wednesday morning to honor Cusson, of Dayville.
    After the brief service, Cusson's casket was placed on the
    department's fire engine. His brother, Assistant Fire Chief Edmund
    J. Cusson Jr., and their father, Fire Capt. Edmund J. Cusson Sr.,
    drove the engine to Sacred Heart Cemetery in Webster, Mass., for
    the burial ceremony.
    Webster was Cusson's birthplace.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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