Pastor dies after gas station explosion


Fire officials will likely never know exactly what caused the explosion at a gas station on Tamarack Avenue in December, the victim of which died Tuesday.

Danbury Fire Chief Geoff Herald said Wednesday that the investigation into the Dec. 20 explosion that killed the Rev. David Wentroble ruled out all but accidental causes in the blaze.

Herald said it is possible that static electricity sparked the fire, a rare but possible phenomenon, but an exact cause could not have been determined without speaking to Wentroble.

“We left (the investigation) because we could not determine a cause,” Herald said. “It was in the hands of the police department … They were going to have to talk to him and they obviously weren’t able to do that.”

“It’s just a terrible tragedy. A horrible thing to happen and it’s very difficult to recover form those type of burns and the type of exposure that this individual had.”


David H. Freed, president and CEO of Nyack Hospital, issued a statement this morning on the death of the Rev. David Wentroble, a Danbury man who served as the hospital’s director of pastoral care.

“The Nyack Hospital community mourns the loss of Reverend David Wentroble.  In his position as Director of Pastoral Care, Reverend Wentroble was both a resource and a friend to countless patients and staff members.  His involvement in people of all faiths’ most wonderful and most difficult moments alike helped to double their pleasures and halve their sorrows, respectively.  He seemed to be omnipresent throughout Nyack Hospital and we will all continue to feel his presence yet miss him terribly.”


BRIDGEPORT — The Danbury man who suffered severe burns in an explosion at a gas station in Danbury in December died Tuesday at Bridgeport Hospital, where he was being treated.

A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday that the Rev. David Wentroble, who served as a chaplain at Nyack Hospital in Nyack, N.Y., died Tuesday evening between 6 and 7 p.m. with members of his family present.

Wentroble suffered severe burns early in the morning of Dec. 20 when gas vapors ignited as he pumped gas into his vehicle at Wheels Gas Station on Tamarack Avenue.

He had been receiving treatment at Bridgeport Hospital’s burn center since the incident, during which time he remained in critical condition.

Fire officials have said that an investigation into the explosion’s cause was inconclusive, though it did rule out any cause associated with defects of the gas station’s equipment.

Danbury Fire Chief Geoff Herald has said that it is possible static electricity sparked the explosion, a rare phenomenon that is difficult to find evidence to support.

Mike DeSalvo