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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

$400,000 after a fire department tanker truck totaled


SHELTON -- The city will likely be out $400,000 after a fire department tanker truck full of water overturned on Chamberlain Drive on its way to a residential fire alarm in a non-hydrant area.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Ullrich said the eight-year-old truck, carrying 300 gallons of water, was traveling south on Chamberlain toward the Deerfield Drive alarm at about 12:45 p.m., when "either mechanical failure or something happened and it rolled over."

The two firefighters inside received minor injuries and were taken to Bridgeport Hospital.

Their names were not immediately released.

The Deerfield Road automatic alarm was in a non-hydrant area, which was why the tanker truck was needed, Ullrich said.

Police and fire officials spent hours investigating the crash, and the truck was still lying on its driver's side near North Hemlock Road at 3 p.m., with Chamberlain closed on both sides.

Ullrich said the tanker appeared to have slid for an unknown distance before coming to rest.

"That can be replaced," he said, expressing his relief that no one was seriously hurt.

"But a life can't be replaced."

It took several hours to clear the scene.

No one at the Shelton Police Department was available for comment.

Ullrich said fire resources were redeployed around the city to compensate for the lost truck. It was the first major crash involving a Shelton fire truck that he knew of, he said, adding that the truck would likely be totaled and city is self-insured.