North Stamford propane fire extinguished

After more than 30 hours, the remaining fuel left in a propane tank suspected of causing Tuesday afternoon’s massive explosion, has burned off and the flames have been extinguished, according to a statement released Thursday morning by the city’s director of public safety.

Firefighters have remained on scene at 305 Webbs Hill Road in North Stamford performing a controlled burn to allow the remaining propane in the 500-gallon tank to burn off. The blast destroyed the six-bedroom house on the property and sent shockwaves throughout a two-mile radius.

Ted Jankowski, the city’s director of public safety, health and welfare, said the investigation into the cause of the explosion is continuing and the property around the blast will remain closed until the investigation is complete.

According to officials with knowledge of the investigation, the homeowner, Guiseppe “Joe” Cardillo, 54, told police that just before the explosion he had mowed the lawn and sat down to have a sandwich.

He then went out into the backyard and lit a cigarette. Cardillo told investigators that as soon as he lit the cigarette, the house exploded, officials said
Wednesday. Cardillo, who at first did not want medical attention, was taken to Stamford Hospital and he was treated and released.

One official said Cardillo heated his house with oil, and that the propane was being used to heat a pool in the backyard and operate a backyard gas grill. Jankowski said about 280 gallons of propane had been put into the tank between one and two months ago.

Police and fire officials believe the explosion may have been caused by a buildup of propane fumes in the home’s basement that could have been set off by a spark from anything.

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Jonathan Lucas