Fairfield Police Rule Death In Hazmat Incident As A Suicide

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A sign from Fairfield police warns residents to stay out of the home at 32 Clinton St.
A sign from Fairfield police warns residents to stay out of the home at 32 Clinton St. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
The hazmat incident occurred Monday night at this house at 32 Clinton St. in Fairfield.
The hazmat incident occurred Monday night at this house at 32 Clinton St. in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The man who was found dead in a Fairfield home on Monday night during a Hazmat incident has been identified and his death has been ruled a suicide, Fairfield police said Tuesday.

The man was identified as Allan Banks, 69, police said. He died after drinking a mixture of potassium cyanide, police said. Banks had been renting the home since 2008.

His body was found during a welfare check by police, called by a friend of Banks who was worried about him, police said. The last known contact with Banks was at around 9:45 p.m. Friday, police said. That email from Banks received by his friend hadn't been read until Monday evening immediately before he contacted the authorities, police said. 

Banks left signs in the house directing first responders to where the deadly chemicals were in the home and a sign over them indicating what they were, police said.

Exposure to potassium cyanide can be rapidly fatal, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. It can be released into the air or be used to contaminate water or food, the CDC said.

Police say that the airborne particles in the house were approximately 2 parts per million, which according to Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy, isn't a level to be a concern or a danger to the immediate neighborhood.

The owner of the Clinton Street home is working with a private contractor to remove the chemicals that were made safe by the Fairfield County Hazmat team Monday night. However, the home remains closed by police. 

"We felt obliged to prevent anyone from entering," because the chemicals were still inside, Lyddy said. "No one without a suit has been in that house," since the initial four first responders entered Monday night.

Those two firefighters and two police officers were checked at the hospital for chemical exposure and released Monday night. 

The area around Clinton Street, from South Benson Road to Oyster Road near Jennings Beach, was closed late Monday as Hazmat crews worked to clear the area of chemicals. Crews left the scene at approximately midnight, police say.

Read more about the incident here and here on the Daily Voice. 

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Amazing police work, discovering that this was a suicide! Arthur Conan Doyle, in his grave, must be envious! Only a suicide note, a despondent dead man, and some poison vials as clues! I propose several promotions be ordered; and a round of double- overtime for the hundreds of HAZMAT first responders involved.