Four trapped inside by tree rescued by Shelton firefighters
SHELTON — Shelton firefighters rescued a family of four from the second floor of their home after a large tree uprooted and crashed through the roof during Tuesday’s storm.
Tropical Storm Isaias, which whipped the area with high winds for several hours, knocked out power to more than half the city and downed hundreds of trees, first responders said. Shelton City Hall was closed Wednesday because of the storm’s aftermath.
Mayor Mark Lauretti was not immediately available for comment.
“We’re still running calls, but yesterday was just overwhelming,” said Deputy Chief Paul Wilson on Wednesday, “We responded to 136 calls during the height of the storm.”
But none was as urgent as the call that a family was trapped in their house by a fallen tree, Wilson said. The family was on the second floor when the tree came down, and the damage trapped them inside.
“They couldn’t get to the stairs because of the tree,” he said.
Firefighters from Engine 42 placed ladders against the side of the house and one by one brought the family out the window and to safety, Wilson said.
“Thankfully, there were no injuries. No one had to be transported, but obviously it was a very stressful situation for the family,” Wilson said.
The rate at which trees were falling and the number of power lines and utility poles that also fell was a challenge, Wilson said.
“For safety, we were trying to keep everyone inside vehicles as much as we could,” he said. “We cut up a tree that fell across Bridgeport Avenue. We had to have three guys working and three guys spotting. You needed eyes on the sky making sure nothing else was coming down.”
According to Eversource, 11,206 of the company’s 18,627 Shelton customers remained without power as of Wednesday afternoon. That is nearly 60 percent of the city. And although the company has not released an official timetable for restoration, Wilson said unofficial estimates were that full restoration would take multiple days.
“Which means that the next danger is going to be carbon monoxide,” he said.
Carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is a byproduct of combustion, can enter a house when residents run electrical generators either inside their garage or outside but near open windows.
Shelton city officials urged residents to be careful with their generators, and also to check for downed wires or weakened tree limbs before attempting to clear storm debris.
“Just, in general, use caution,” Wilson said.