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police & fire

Smoke Bomb: Greenwich Police Call It Arson

GREENWICH, Conn. – A smoke bomb was being treated as arson as police continued to investigate the Tuesday night incident at an apartment building in central Greenwich.

Damage to the building at 24 Bruce Park Ave. was insignificant, but Capt. Timothy Berry says the Greenwich Police Department is taking the incident seriously. “It’s still lighting a device inside a building like that. [It] filled the hallway up with smoke, did intentionally cause a very hazardous condition, so we’re treating it as an arson. We have a few leads we’re working on now.”

Only one resident of the four-apartment building was at home when the smoke bomb was detonated, he said. When she smelled smoke, she went out the back door and called 911.

Emergency personnel responded and found the front of the building entirely filled with smoke. The street was shut down at about 8 p.m. while officials investigated. Deputy Fire Marshal Jim McDonald arrived shortly after it was reported.

Officials soon realized a smoke bomb had been placed inside a milk crate used for recycling that was next to mailboxes in the entrance corridor, McDonald said.

The smoke cleared 10 to 15 minutes after firefighters arrived. “Someone, for reasons still yet to be determined, put a smoke bomb in that milk crate,” he said. The smoke bomb ignited paper in the milk crate, he said.

Officers are "investigating this like any other crime – whether it was kids being stupid or someone with a vendetta or simple vandalism or someone had something against the landlord or someone in that building, we have no idea,” said McDonald.

In April a smoke bomb was set off in the main entrance to Greenwich High School shortly before students left for spring break. Although officials say that incident was a prank, detonating smoke bombs is no joke.

“There’s very little entertainment value in something that could potentially become very tragic. So we would certainly discourage this sort of thing,” says Berry. “Therefore, we will investigate and find out who did it.”

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