BRATTLEBORO -- Fire officials on Tuesday afternoon said a Western Avenue house which caught fire late last night was a "total loss."
Demolition crews were on scene Tuesday afternoon, taking down the remnants of the West Brattleboro home, which was owned by Peter Diamondstone and his wife, Doris Lake.
The cause of the fire hasn't been officially determined, but Diamondstone told the Reformer he believes an oily rag outside of the house spontaneously combusted, igniting the building.
According to Diamonstone, oily rags were stored outside because they were in the process of painting the house.
Brattleboro Fire Chief Michael Bucossi told the Reformer that the fire does not appear to be suspicious.
Diamondstone said that he and his wife were in bed when they realized they hadn't had dinner. He was cooking a steak when his wife asked him if he was burning it.
Diamondstone said he looked out the window and saw orange flames licking up the side of the house.
He, his wife and their pet were able to escape the building without injury.
A cottage in the backyard also caught fire and burned to the ground.
Diamondstone and Lake, who lived in the house for 44 years, don't have fire insurance and aren't sure where they will live while they get back on their feet.
Fire crews answered the call just before 11 p.m. on Monday. In addition to Brattleboro Fire Department, officials from Putney and Hinsdale,
Traffic on Route 9 was backed up all moring due to the closure of one lane, but both lanes were opened by 12:45 p.m.