Barrels of water prompt hazmat scare in New Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Barrels of water prompt hazmat scare in New Haven

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Emergency crews were called to a home in New Haven on Monday (WFSB) Emergency crews were called to a home in New Haven on Monday (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Neighbors in New Haven are shaken up after a frightening false alarm Monday afternoon.

Emergency crews were called to a home on Rosette Street in New Haven on Monday, including SWAT, bomb squad teams and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

EMT’s arrived first for what they believed was a routine welfare check, but they found something strange. Several 50-gallon barrels inside and outside the house filled with some sort of liquid, prompting to a full hazmat team response.

“We always take everything on the most secure side and work our way down and that's what we do,” said New Haven Assistant Fire Chief Mark Vendetto.

In the end, investigators found the barrels didn’t contain any harmful chemicals or explosives.

“It turned out to be water that the homeowner was trying to ionize and turn into electricity,” Vendetto said.

Firefighters said the homeowner was trying to make his own electricity, although they say he wasn't close to achieving his goal.

The man who lives at the home wasn’t breaking any laws, but the process is not safe.

“There are some safety concerns outside of the fact that he's collecting rainwater, trying to produce electricity. If it's not hooked up properly, that can create an electrocution hazard. Or a fire in the home,” Vendetto said.

Investigators deemed the house unsafe to live in and power crews shut off the electricity as a precaution.

Neighbors said the homeowner was shaken by the experience and was taken to the hospital. His friends are defending him.

“He doesn't bother anybody so that is the reason that I am here right now,” said Patrick Henry.

The fire marshal is still investigating. It’s unclear when the homeowner will be able to go back to his house.

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