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stamford rewind Today in history: July 16

July 15, 2018

100 years agoTall chimney to toppleFor many years, a chimney has been terrorizing the people of the South End. Ordinarily, there is nothing dangerous about a chimney, but the one a little below Walnut Street on Pacific Street is about 200 feet high and has been rather wobbly and ghostly-looking, according to the residents. It would even be a hard thing for the “tanks” to buck.At various times, there was a wire factory, a bat factory and other kinds of factories on this site, until it burned down and all that remains is this chimney, which has attracted much attention. A loud bang this afternoon or tomorrow will let local people know that the dreaded chimney is gone.50 years agoRent group gives landlord a breakThe Rent Receivership Committee headed by attorney Jonathan M. Bennett has voted to suspend temporarily receivership proceedings against a landlord charged with “hundreds of violations” of the health code, including rotting porches, missing screen doors, wiring defects, falling plaster, lack of paint and grounds littered with debris.Dr. Ralph M. Gofstein said the landlady and other workers spent the last few days cleaning up the grounds and repairing porches.He said the debris cleaned out of the cellars and grounds, including old mattresses, refrigerators, broken stumps and other refuse, was piled in huge mounds in front of the building, and the Health Department gave her until noon today to have the trash removed.25 years agoCause of propane blast soughtA leaky valve, a mechanical failure, or human error are among the possibilities fire investigators pursued yesterday as they searched for the cause of the blast at Stamford Propane that critically injured four people.Fire marshals said they are almost certain Wednesday afternoon’s explosion, which lifted the building’s roof, was ignited when one of the four burn victims lit a cigarette inside the company’s offices. The firm supplies propane gas to private and commercial customers.But Acting Fire Marshal Barry Callahan said investigators were not ready to reach any conclusions on how or why invisible propane gas was seeping into the air.erin.kayata@stamfordadvocate.com; (203) 064-2265; @erin_kayata

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