Nighttime fire destroys home on Butternut Ridge in Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — A late night fire Saturday at a home in the Butternut Ridge neighborhood off Route 116 in Middlebury drove a family out into single-digit temperatures, sent two people to the hospital and apparently claimed the life a family pet.
The Middlebury Fire Department received a report of a fire at 200 Butternut Ridge Drive, the home of the Randall family, at a little after 11 p.m. on Jan. 13.
Local authorities report that there was an explosion near a space heater in a camper that was permanently parked directly behind the 1970s-era home. The camper, where reportedly one man lived, was fully engulfed in flames when Middlebury firefighters arrived minutes later. The mercury in thermometers had fallen below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Quickly the fire spread to the rear of the home, where it destroyed room after room until the residence was destroyed.
WCAX reported that the firefighters were delayed in putting out the blaze because the homeowner initially would not leave while family pets were inside.
An elderly woman was taken to Porter Hospital for evaluation. An intoxicated man at the residence was also transported to Porter and treated for minor burns to his arm, and then police took him to Grace House in Rutland to sober up.
A neighbor posted a message on social media reporting that the four dogs at the house were missing right after the fire. The dogs included a mother, called “Mama,” and her litter of three, who were two years old. They were described as lab/pit mixes; the three younger dogs were named Caramel, Wiggles and River. By Sunday morning the poster reported that “Mama” had been found and sadly died while being cared for by a veterinarian. On Wednesday she said one dog was found dead in the charred remains of the house.
There were four cats that lived in the house as well. Three live cats were found Wednesday morning with one still missing. Only one of the cats could be caught, but a neighbor left food out for the other two.
The New Hampshire/Vermont Region of the American Red Cross on Sunday reported that the organization was assisting five adults with shelter and other necessities after a fire destroyed their Butternut Ridge home on.
A Red Cross official said the organization issued the Randals things like winter coats, socks and Client Assistance Cards, which are preloaded debit cards. It also gave them referrals to additional resources through partner agencies.

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