JAMAICA -- A fire destroyed a house early on Tuesday morning.
"We haven't narrowed down the cause yet," said Jamaica Fire Department Lieutenant Dane West who responded to the fire. "I couldn't nail it down. We're calling it undetermined, of unknown reasons. It definitely was not suspicious."
The Jamaica Fire Department received a call for the first alarm at 5:30 a.m. It was for a structure fire at a two-story residential house at 1757 Mowrey Road.
By the time firefighters arrived on scene, the fire had already gotten to the second story and it had gone through the roof. All the occupants were out of the house by then and no one was harmed in the fire.
A woman who was renting the home and a child were waiting for responders outside. Firefighters took them away from the scene.
The Jamaica Fire Department had trouble driving to the scene.
"It was down a narrow, thin road, with a single lane and it was very steep," said West. "It hadn't been plowed or sanded. We had difficulties getting the apparatus there."
Firefighters then had a four-inch line that didn't work. They had to tap into a pond that was next to the house.
At 9:30 a.m., responders were still putting water on the fire. By 10 a.m., they were finishing up, West told the Reformer.
Other fire departments came to the scene from Wardsboro, Townshend, NewBrook, Winhall, South Londonderry, Williamsville and West Dover.
The two occupants are currently staying with friends.
West said that keeping the pumps running at all times is important for the fire department in the cold weather. If it stops running, it will freeze. With this fire, there were no issues with freeze-ups, but it was something that firefighters had to keep in mind.
West said lack of water and icy roads made it harder to put the fire out.
"A road crew needed to come and sand for us," he said of the roads leading to the scene.
West has been lieutenant in Jamaica for about 10 years. He said that chimney fires are what he sees the most.
"We've had a large experience with chimney fires," he said. "That's what usually leads to these things. There was one in Townshend the other day. We assisted them in a chimney fire."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.