1. #1
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    Oct 2005

    Default Stafford, CT house goes boom...

    I hope this audio link works for non-registered users:


    It's the audio from a house load of Fireworks going up a couple days ago in Stafford, CT.

    According to the papers, Fire Chief's vehicle was rocking when he pulled up, neighbors had books & knick knacks walking off shelves from the vibrations...they just stood back and let it cook off for a couple hours before moving in to surround & drown the remains.

    One of the residents apparently liked to make his own "commercial grade" fireworks by buying consumer fireworks out of state, and reassembling the components...

    (Cones marked unexploded fireworks)

    2 Bodies Recovered From Blast Scene
    March 17, 2006
    By STEPHANIE SUMMERS, Courant Staff Writer STAFFORD -- The older resident of a house destroyed Wednesday by a massive explosion and fire manufactured illegal fireworks, the town fire marshal said Thursday. Two bodies were recovered from the rubble.

    "As far as we know, this was all illegal fireworks activity," Stafford Fire Marshal Tom Finch said Thursday night. "He'd been making his own fireworks for years."


    Salvatore Fiore, 75, and his nephew, James Sacheli, 54, lived at the home at 87 Hopyard Road, which was leveled by a secondary explosion about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday after an initial blast shook houses more than a mile away, residents said.

    State Police Sgt. Paul Vance said police had tentative identifications of the dead, but were awaiting verification by dental records. A spokesman from the state medical examiner's office said autopsies would be done today.

    Both Fiore's and Sacheli's charred vehicles were present, and rescuers stopped searching after the second body was found.

    Finch said investigators have determined the cause of the explosions and ensuing fire to be "illegal storage of fireworks inside and outside."

    Finch said Fiore was believed to be "buying fireworks in states where it was legal, like New Hampshire, and he was cutting them open and making his own."

    How the explosives were ignited is unknown, he said, but Fiore was a heavy smoker.

    "It was known by people that he was smoking when he was working on the fireworks" in the basement, Finch said. There was a possible problem with a clothes dryer that could not be substantiated, he said.

    Sacheli, who suffered the effects of polio when he was young, made jewelry in the 1,000-square-foot ranch house he owned with his uncle.

    He knew about the fireworks, Finch said: "James was aware they were there and he was afraid of them, actually."

    Investigators recovered some unexploded fireworks and materials in outbuildings and commercial-size coolers stored outside, the fire marshal said. He could not estimate the volume of the material. The bomb squad hauled away the unexploded fireworks.

    On Thursday afternoon, Fiore's son, Salvatore Fiore of Brattleboro, Vt., stood in the cold with his wife beyond the fire tape line at the end of the driveway. He said investigators had swabbed his mouth for a DNA sample. A short time later the first body was brought out.

    A state police cadaver-sniffing dog discovered the first body about 1:20 p.m. outside the garage area, and the second victim about an hour later in the basement, Stafford Resident Trooper Sgt. Thomas Duncan said.

    The bodies, enclosed in maroon zippered bags, were loaded by officers from the state medical examiner's office onto stretchers and into an unmarked truck. After the first body was loaded, the truck parked behind the son's car in anticipation that a second victim would be found.

    State fire marshal, State Police Major Crime Squad and West Stafford fire vehicles and a town backhoe and payloader clogged the driveway and road as investigators worked the scene. The state police bomb squad arrived later in the day.

    By about 3 p.m., most of the scene was cleared except for those taking measurements of the fallout of the blast and collecting other evidence, Duncan said.

    By 8 p.m., Finch said the scene was cleaned and the embers were out. Because the two owners were in the building, Finch said, no citations would be issued.

    Members of the Italian Benefit Society said Thursday that Fiore put on fireworks displays at Crystal Lake around the Fourth of July that rivaled the town-sponsored displays. "Oh, yeah, he put on a show," said Darrell Garvey, the permittee of the American Legion, to which Fiore also belonged.

    Club members said Fiore was known for making his own kielbasa and Genoa sausage and liked to play cards and go to the casino. His son often visited the Legion and Italian club with his father, Garvey said.

    Next-door neighbor Mitchell Fers, an eyewitness to the explosion, said he occasionally heard his neighbor shoot off a firework but said he was unaware there was a large amount there and did not know Fiore was manufacturing them.

    "The house just vanished," Fers said. "I didn't think they were making anything that would blow up a house. Nobody knew."

    Asked why he didn't report fireworks next door, he said, "If I turned them in I'd have to turn in half the people around here."

    It is illegal to sell or use fireworks in Connecticut except those classified as sparklers, according to state statutes. Fireworks may be manufactured in Connecticut provided the manufacturer has a state-issued permit and the product is shipped out of state.

    Finch said he had heard of the Crystal Lake displays, but had never witnessed them.

    Asked why something such as regular fireworks shows could be an open secret in town, Finch said, "People just don't like to report fireworks."

  2. #2
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    "Just so happens I keep 'em numbered for just such an occasion"
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    Last edited by WaterbryVTfire; 03-17-2006 at 11:23 AM.
    "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."



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  3. #3
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    EFD840's Avatar
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    Eclectic (no, NOT electric), Alabama


    "It was known by people that he was smoking when he was working on the fireworks" in the basement, Finch said.
    Kinda makes you wonder how he made it to 75, doesn't it?

  4. #4
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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    Quote Originally Posted by EFD840
    Kinda makes you wonder how he made it to 75, doesn't it?
    Darwin must be taking a vacation...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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