Gas leak at Sikorsky factory was outdoor roof contractor’s

A propane gas leak at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford in the early evening of Sept. 29 came from one of eight tanks being used by a roofing contractor to heat sealant material, according to Stratford Fire Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried.

The tank was in an exterior parking lot, and a malfunctioning valve allowed the propane to escape. There were no reported injuries and no reported damage to the sprawling Sikorsky property, which is off Route 110, near the Shelton border.

'A dangerous condition'

Sikorsky’s own fire department was first to address the gas leak, which Gottfried called “a dangerous condition” due to the volatility of the gas.

Stratford Fire Department personnel responded as well, and the two groups put water on the leak to disperse the gas, which is heavier than air and tends to “hug the ground,” Gottfried said.

Fairfield Country Hazardous Materials unit was called in to help burn off the escaping gas in a controlled manner.

Ultimately the tank, which measures approximately 47 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter, released its entire 100 pounds of gas capacity.

Gottfried reported that the initial call came to Stratford Fire at 5:25 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29. They got to the scene at 5:32 and remained there until 9 p.m.