As a Stamford landscaper’s truck passed south through the intersection of West Avenue and Hollow Tree Ridge Road late Thursday morning, the trailer behind it became uncoupled and was dragged down the street a short way when it caught fire, according to a town official.
Although the fire briefly blazed high and destroyed the trailer and everything in it, none of the Love Your Home landscaping employees or firefighters were hurt, said Assistant Fire Marshal Robert Rockwell.
The trailer was still attached to the truck by its emergency chains, so it stayed behind the truck, but when it dragged on the pavement, sparks resulted, Rockwell said.
There was about 30 gallons of gas in the open trailer, and the sparks lit some of it on fire as the truck rolled to the entrance by Glen Liquor, down the hill from the intersection, Rockwell said.
Landscapers in the truck stopped it at the entrance in front of the store, part of the Noroton Heights Shopping Center, and quickly got out of the truck as the fire blazed high engulfing the trailer looming high above it. Carol Wilder-Tamme, a local resident, saw the inferno and snapped a picture of it.
A 911 call was made at 10:18 a.m., Rockwell said, and a Noroton Heights Fire Department truck was soon on the scene with eight firefighters. Within 30 minutes the fire was out.
The trailer had held lawnmowers and other equipment, all destroyed in the blaze, Rockwell said. Firefighters were able to disconnect the trailer from the truck, which only suffered minor damage, although its rear lights were destroyed.
“Most of the gas burned out,” Rockwell said, but plastic and rubber were burning as well.
About 45 minutes after the 911 call, a flatbed tow truck removed the remains of the trailer and a town street sweeper and town employees cleaned up the mess, he said.
Firefighters were initially concerned that overhead utility wires might have been damaged by the fire, but the driver had been able to pull the truck and trailer far enough so that the cables weren’t hurt, Rockwell said.