Fire strikes Middlebury home; no injuries reported

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Fire Chief David Shaw believes it was the improper disposal of some woodstove ashes that caused a blaze that did significant damage to a home at 14 Brookside Drive in Middlebury during the evening of Sunday, Jan. 18.
Residents of the home — including owner Jan Beayon — made it out safely, as did most of the family’s pets, according to Shaw. And he noted firefighters were able to revive an unresponsive cat that was found inside the home. Firefighters were getting ready to dispose of the cat’s remains when one official detected a slight pulse on the animal. Firefighters gave the cat some oxygen, revived it, and set it on course to enjoy its remaining eight lives.
Shaw said it was at around 9 p.m. that Middlebury firefighters were toned to the scene. Middlebury received mutual aid from the New Haven, Cornwall and Weybridge fire departments.
Upon his arrival, Shaw noted substantial flames in the garage attached to the home. Unfortunately, the fire had also spread to the attic, according to Shaw.
“We tried to push the fire back into the garage,” Shaw said.
Around 40 firefighters toiled at the scene during some bad weather conditions, beginning with freezing rain and concluding with a steady snowfall.
Shaw said the garage is a total loss and that extensive work to the home — particularly the roof — will be required before it is again habitable.
The Beayon family thankfully has relatives with whom to stay in the aftermath of the fire, according to Shaw.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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