1 dead in Conn. fire caused by Irene

(AP) - Tropical Storm Irene sent water splashinginto the streets of shoreline communities Sunday as it surgedacross Connecticut, toppling trees and cutting power to 700,000customers. One person was killed in a fire sparked by downed wires.

The water surged over a sea wall in East Haven, flooding onecoastal road with waist-deep water and damaging houses. East HavenMayor April Capone said authorities were trying to confirm a reportthat some beach houses had fallen into the water, but she was notaware of any injuries or fatalities.

The storm was downgraded from a hurricane before its centerreached the state and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he was alreadyshifting attention to the recovery effort, but officials werekeeping a wary eye on rising waters. Malloy said dams would beopened to ease the flooding risk on the swollen Housatonic River.

Seawater was also flooding streets in other shoreline towns andcities including Bridgeport, Westbrook and Fairfield.

One person died overnight and another was severely injured in afire at a house in Prospect, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state policespokesman. Malloy said the blaze was apparently caused by wiresknocked down by the storm. Two firefighters were also receivedtreatment for electric shocks.

In Bridgeport, two patients dependent on respirators werecarried down five flights of stairs after the facility lost powerand the generator failed. They were taken to hospitals, cityspokeswoman Elaine Ficarra.

News 12 Connecticut Weather Center

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