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PUTNEY — An early morning fire Tuesday destroyed a home owned by James and Eve McDermott at 44 Watt Pond Road.

Putney Fire Chief Tom Goddard said the McDermott home was a total loss and that an investigation concluded the fire was not suspicious. There were no injuries.

He said when firefighters arrived there was fire coming out of all the window and door openings, with heavy fire throughout the building, which was 30 by 60 feet.

Goddard said the cause of the fire was investigated by members of the Putney Fire Department, the Vermont State Police fire investigation unit, as well as the Vermont Division of Fire Safety, and the cause was labeled "undetermined." The wood frame home, which the chief said was "at least 40 years old," was near The Greenwood School.

He said that firefighters worked to cool propane cylinders, which were actively venting and involved in the fire. He said there were no injuries from fighting the fire.The chief said the building was a two-family home although he said it was used as a single home at the time of the fire. He said the call reporting the fire came from James McDermott, who was living in the house. He said the home also included an attached garage and barn.

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The chief said there were no thunderstorms in the region at the time of the fire.

The fire was discovered at 4:20 a.m., and firefighters were on the scene 10 minutes later, Goddard said. The chief called a second alarm even before arriving due to information received during the response.

He said the fire was declared under control at 5:30 a.m., with fire crews finally leaving the scene at 10:30 a.m.

About 60 firefighters from various fire departments in Vermont and New Hampshire assisted in putting the fire out. Assisting Putney at the scene were Westminster, Dummerston, Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Guilford, and Chesterfield, Spofford and Walpole, N.H., with Rockingham and North Walpole, N.H., covering the Putney station.

Contact Susan Smallheer at or 802 254-2311, ext. 154.