Main Street Traffic Halted As Smoke Billows Above Morse Court Building

Emergency responders rushed to Main Street at Morse Court late Thursday morning as black smoke began billowing above a two-story building’s roof on the corner. Fire and police rushed to the scene at about 11:15 a.m., closing Main Street from Cherry Street to East Avenue as onlookers, including many workers who emerged from their shops, took photos and videos with their smartphones on a clear, crisp fall day. The smell of burning oil wafted over the area and fire officials in their early assessments suspected a problem with a burner. No flames could be seen. The building on the corner houses optician Morgenthal Frederics on the ground floor.

Police: ‘Following Too Closely’ a Leading Cause of Car Crashes Outside of Downtown New Canaan

The lead cause of motor vehicle accidents at five “hot spot” intersections outside of downtown New Canaan is motorists driving too close to the vehicles in front of them, according to police. Following too closely “overwhelmingly” has been the number one reason for car crashes at Old Stamford and Talmadge Hill Roads, South Avenue and Farm Road and three intersections along the Route 123 corridor, at Old Norwalk Road, Lakeview Avenue and East Avenue, according to New Canaan Police Officer David Payne, the department’s lead accident reconstructionist. As part of a data-driven effort to make local roads safer, Payne at the request of Deputy Chief John DiFederico studied three-plus years’ worth of accident data in New Canaan—some 1,600 crashes in all, he said. “The whole purpose of this was to identify locations, so now that is done and I’ve identified some causation factors, so now the deputy chief wants to do targeted enforcement at those locations,” Payne said. Future efforts from police could revolve around campaigns where police measure compliance with laws such as those requiring motorists to travel a reasonable distance apart from the cars in front of them, then conduct targeted enforcement and measure again at the same places, Payne said.

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Facts on Natural Gas

By now most are aware that Eversource is bringing natural gas to New Canaan, so I thought it was a good time to provide some basic information about “gas.” The following are some basic facts about natural gas:

Natural gas is a lighter than air gas, when released into the atmosphere it rises and dissipates. Propane is a heavier than air gas so it sinks when released. Both natural gas and propane have an odorant (ethyl mercaptan) added because in their natural states they are odorless, colorless and tasteless. That is the “rotten egg” odor we know as “gas.”
As with propane, natural gas may be used to feed multiple household appliances—for example, water heaters, stoves, pool heaters, fireplace logs, grills, furnaces, boilers and generators. 
Most propane equipment can be converted to use natural gas by licensed technicians.

Fire Marshal Issues Safety Tips During ‘National Fire Prevention Week’

Each year, more than 2,500 people die in fires, most of them in residential occupancies. National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7 to 13 this year and the theme is “Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out!” and the fire service throughout the country will be working to emphasize fire safety awareness as will the New Canaan Fire Department. Firefighters will be visiting schools throughout town giving demonstrations on how to stay fire safe. Also, school groups will be touring the fire house to learn about how the fire fighters live, train and work. 

Following is a list of general fire safety tips to help stay safe at home:

First and foremost, have smoke detectors installed on each level of the home and inside of each sleeping room and make sure they have fresh batteries at least once per year.