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Monkton fire leaves five homeless, damages trailer

MONKTON — Firefighters from two counties battled a Monday afternoon blaze that displaced five people at 842 Rotax Road in Monkton.
Monkton Fire Department Assistant Chief Curtis Layn said the call came in around 3 p.m., and by the time firefighters arrived minutes later, flames had engulfed a garage and also ignited a double-wide trailer six feet from the garage.
Layn said the homeowner had been working on his dune buggy in the garage, but something went wrong when he turned the ignition, sparking the blaze.
The garage burned to the ground and the home sustained significant damage, but firefighters were able to save many of the family’s belongings. No one was injured by the blaze.
Layn said the presence of many accelerants, such as fuel, in the garage caused the fire to spread quickly. High winds enabled the flames to jump to the house almost immediately.
Layn said he knew the fire was large when he could see smoke from where he was working in Monkton as soon as the call came in.
“I could see smoke from the other side of town,” he said. “I was six miles away.”
About 20 firefighters from Monkton, Charlotte, Hinesburg, Starksboro and Bristol responded to the call. Layn said that because many firefighters work during the day, local departments often call for mutual aid because they may not have enough firefighters within range of the station.
“As a small town, we appreciate the cooperation and the dedicated support of all the neighboring departments that come, as we do in their towns,” Layn said.
The Red Cross arrived on scene that afternoon and found a place for the family to live in the interim.

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