Newtown had at least one injury in connection with the historic October storm – a member of the Sandy Hook fire police who had a freak off-duty accident during the height of the storm.
Anthony "Chip" Carpenter, 60, a retired Monroe fire marshal, and his family lost power to their Jeremiah Road home Saturday during what would become the historic snow storm. Without any electricity, Carpenter headed out to his deck to grill food.
As he returned inside to take a phone, a large branch fell onto the grill, knocking the propane tank, spilling it onto the deck and sparking a fire.
"It rolled over on the grill, started a fire and gas leak," Carpenter said.
As he went to put out the fire, his wife called 911 and Sandy Hook firefighters responded. They quickly extinguished the fire on the deck.
Carpenter, who had gone to put on his firefighter helmet and turncoat, then stood in his front yard talking to fellow firefighters. A moment later, a large branch cracked and fell on the group, directly striking Carpenter and also hitting another firefighter, Karl "Billy" Sieling Jr. and two others peripherally, officials said.
"It knocked me right out," Carpenter said of the branch. "I woke up hearing Billy screaming...I didn't even know what happened."
Carpenter and Sieling were taken to Danbury Hospital where Sieling was eventually treated and released. Sieling and the two others went back into service as volunteer firefighters while Carpenter stayed at the hospital for more tests, including a magnetic resonance imaging.
Carpenter said he has to undergo follow-up testing for an unrelated medical issue but other than that, he is fine. What was even more freaky was that when he and his wife returned home, another large branch came crashing down, this time slamming through a skylight in the roof, he said.
The amount of tree damage from this storm is surprising because this past summer, he had 40 trees removed from his home, Carpenter said. Still, he is undeterred by what has happened, saying that it comes with living in the region.
"If you want to live in New England, wait a minute – it change," Carpenter said.