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CT: Historic Synagogue Destroyed in Electrical Fire

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Milford, CT: Smoke was pouring out Richard Jacobs’ synagogue. A congregant at the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont since his childhood in the 1930s, his family would attend during summers at the beach, and then he again became a regular when he and his wife Cary moved to Milford, Conn., full-time in 1999.

But last Sunday morning, an electrical fire burned everything except the congregation’s precious Torah scrolls. The memorial stained glass windows burst from the heat, and everything in sight was charred. The historic congregation and home of Chabad-Lubavitch of Milford was in ruins.

“It was a very charming place, with a little blue sky above the altar that was painted with stars,” detailed Jacobs. “As soon as we heard the noise, someone said, ‘The synagogue’s on fire,’ and we ran right over there.”

Rabbi Schneur Wilhelm was at home with his family when he got a call from the fire department that the building was on fire. He rushed to the synagogue and showed the firemen where to find the ark so they could rescue its two Torahs.A big expansion had been planned for the synagogue, a wood building built in 1926 that is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. But now, getting the place back in shape is the first order of business, said Jacobs.

“We got them both out, thank G-d, and they are in one piece,” he said. “But we really have to get them over to a scribe before we can determine the extent of the damage.”

People stood outside and watched as the synagogue their parents and grandparents attended went up in flames.

They’re working with the city as they look for a place to regroup while they rebuild, said Joel Levitz, president of the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont/Chabad of Milford. On Wednesday, congregants buried holy books burned in the fire at the BethIsrael Cemetery.“It’s not just a regular fire. Fire is hard, especially when it comes to a synagogue, but with the history of the shul, it makes it so much more difficult,” said Wilhelm.

For the past 11 years, Levitz has been going to the synagogue, which under Wilhelm’s leadership has become a weekly congregation.

“He’s a wonderful rabbi and it’s a welcoming place to pray,” said Levitz. Many tears were shed on Sunday, he added, but the plan is to pick up the pieces and move forward. “That’s our plan, to rebuild.”

Since Sunday, calls have been pouring in from religious leaders and the broader community as people offer their help with the process.

“Everybody wants to do something,” said Levitz.

It’s devastating but not fatal, added Jacobs. “We’re looking to the future. Everyone is rallying around the center, so we know it’s going to be alright.”

Story via chabad.org

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One Man Killed, One Injured in Electrical Accident in CT

MILFORD, CONNECTICUT – One man is dead and a second injured after the relatives received a shock while power-washing a home with an aluminum ladder.

Victor Larranaga-Marquez, 33, of Bridgeport was pronounced dead after the accident on Point Beach Drive Tuesday evening, police said.

His uncle, Gerardo Marquez-Hernandez, 45, also of Bridgeport, sustained serious injuries, police said. He was transported to the Bridgeport Hospital burn unit, where he was listed in fair condition Wednesday afternoon, said hospital spokesman John Cappiello.

The accident happened when the ladder hit an overhead power line, police said.

Representatives of The United Illuminating Company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are assisting with the investigation.

Story Via Hartford Courant

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CT Plant Gets Fined by OSHA for Numerous Electrical Hazards

WEST HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Har-Conn Chrome Company Inc. for 45 alleged serious violations of safety and health standards at its West Hartford, Conn., metal finishing plant.

“The conditions found at this workplace exposed employees to a variety of potential hazards including electrocution, fire, falls, lacerations and exposure to toxic substances,” said Paul Mangiafico, OSHA’s area director in Hartford. “For the safety and health of its workers, this employer must address these hazards completely, effectively and on an ongoing basis to prevent their recurrence.”

OSHA’s inspection identified numerous electrical hazards, including exposed live parts, damaged or misused electrical equipment and wiring, blocked access to electrical wiring and the use of unapproved wiring; unguarded saws, fans and grinders; improper transfer of flammable liquids; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; confined space hazards; untrained forklift operators; lack of personal protective equipment; and lack of emergency eyewashes.

OSHA has proposed a total of $77,500 in fines. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

Har-Conn Chrome has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Story Via Reliable Plant

Winsted School District Fights Teacher’s Electrical Shock & Burn Accident Claim

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

WINSTED, CT — A Pearson Middle School teacher was burned and suffered shock-related injuries during an electrical accident last month, according to the teacher’s attorney.  The school district is fighting the teacher’s workers compensation claim.

via Winsted school district fights teacher’s workers compensation claim- The Register Citizen News – Northwest Connecticut’s Daily Newspaper.