Saturday fire destroys Middlebury home, no one injured

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury firefighters continue to investigate the cause of a Saturday, Oct. 31, fire that consumed a home at 644 Munson Road in Middlebury.
It was at 8:29 a.m. on Oct. 31 that a resident of one of the two apartments at 644 Munson Road called to report smoke and fire coming from the upper level of the two-story building, according to Middlebury fire Chief David Shaw. Six minutes later, Middlebury firefighters were on the scene.
Shaw, one of the first to arrive, noted fire coming from three sides of the building, owned by Roxanne Emilo. Shaw called the Bristol Fire Department for on-the-scene assistance. He also asked for tanker trucks from Salisbury and additional assistance from the Cornwall and Weybridge fire departments.
Approximately 35 firefighters battled the blaze, which proved very tricky due to the construction of the building, according to Shaw. He explained that the structure had been added on to several times over the years, a practice that can create some interior voids into which fire can spread unpredictably.
“It was certainly a challenge for us,” Shaw said.
Firefighters did knock down the fire and extinguished it. They cleared the scene at around 2 p.m., according to Shaw, who believes the building is a total loss. The upstairs apartment was essentially gutted, while the downstairs unit sustained significant water and smoke damage, Shaw said.
Fortunately, the upstairs tenants were out of town at the time of the blaze. The downstairs tenant works a night shift and discovered the fire upon returning home Saturday morning, officials said. No pets were trapped in the abode and no firefighters were reported injured while fighting the blaze.
Red Cross workers were on the scene within an hour of the fire being reported, according to Shaw. The New Hampshire/Vermont Region of the American Red Cross said the fire displaced three people; and that the group ensured everyone had a safe place to sleep and has food, clothing and other essentials. Shaw said on Monday morning that he believes the tenants have secured temporary accommodations at this point.
The Middlebury Fire Department’s auxiliary group helped set up some of the tenants with some clothes, Shaw added.
Shaw on Monday was slated to help investigate the fire, which does not appear to be suspicious, he said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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