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Firefighters Checked For Plague, Truck Fumigated After Unusual House Call

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48 Taylor Street, Waterbury (Courtesy City of Waterbury Property Records)

48 Taylor Street, Waterbury (Courtesy City of Waterbury Property Records)

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WATERBURY, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Firefighters are used to dealing with threats from smoke and flames, dangerous footing or beams falling from above.  But Waterbury firefighters checking an abandoned building recently encountered a smaller —  but potentially deadly hazard.

Fleas.

Chief David Martin says Waterbury firefighters routinely check abandoned buildings for fire hazards, and when four fighters left after a check at 48 Taylor Street,   they “didn’t realize until they came out and got back on the engine that they were literally coated in fleas.”

“One of the guys described it as they had thousands of them, crawling on them. “

The firefighters were taken to Waterbury hospital to be undressed, scrubbed down and checked for flea-borne diseases,  and the fire truck was professionally fumigated.

Chief Martin says all four firemen were fine and the engine was fine.  He says it’s “another lesson that we’ve learned,  another story to tell.”

But the chief adds that there is one thing he’s found in telling this particular story:  “Most people, as you start to talk to them about it –you may feel it right now — they tend to start getting a little itchy, and feel like there’s something crawling on them, just from the conversation.”

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