Family safe, but 4 cats die in Newfane house fire


NEWFANE -- Firefighters from Guilford to Winhall arrived at the scene of a house fire in Newfane that killed four cats and likely resulted in a total loss on Wednesday afternoon.

"The owner says it started in the second floor. They had a kitchen up there," said Newbrook Fire Chief Todd Lawley.

He told the Reformer that by the time firefighters arrived, the fire at the site of a house on Newfane Hill Road had spread through the roof.

With "no good water supply" in the vicinity, departments had to run nearly five miles of hose to the scene. The house was set back in the woods and the air was thick with smoke.

Although four cats were lost in the fire, two cats were saved and the family of five or six people were all out of the house with no injuries or issues.

The family told Lawley that one of the daughters had yelled to the rest of the family members who were working outside that there was smoke coming from inside the house.

"By the time they saw, it was starting to come out the second floor," he said.

The family will find housing for the next few days with assistance by Red Cross, Lawley said.

Around 2:30 p.m., firefighters were waiting to hear about an excavator.

"We're going to have to pull the house apart," said Lawley.

The third floor had collapsed on top of the second floor. It wouldn't have been safe for firefighters to go inside to assess further damages.

"The weight load is so much, we wouldn't dare go in there," said Lawley.

Firefighters from the various Windham County departments were extinguishing the house with at least four hoses during that time period

Members from the Brattleboro Fire Department, East Dover Fire Department, Wardsboro Fire Department, West Dummerston Fire Department, Townshend Fire Department were at the scene of the fire. At one point, nine fire departments' trucks were counted.

Rescue Inc. and Green Mountain Power also assisted at the scene.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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