By Chris Mays
GUILFORD — A silo building was destroyed in a fire that reportedly involved people jumping out of windows for their safety and required hospital care for several occupants.
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 9:23 a.m., said Guilford Fire Chief Jared Bristol, who was told the structure was three stories and described it as a total loss. He believes someone who had been on the property called for help and reported that people were jumping from the building.
Bristol said he was told three people were transported to the hospital by other people on the property. Firefighters were seen at Natowich Field at Brattleboro Union High School, where a patient was picked up by Boston MedFlight and a helicopter from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team was seen flying.
In an email response to the Reformer, Brattleboro Fire Chief Mike Buccosi said two patients were flown out of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital but he didn't know if they were the fire victims.
Witnesses at the scene described the fire as being intentionally set by a man having a psychotic break during a party on the property, but Bristol said he had no idea what caused the fire and he called the Vermont State Police to investigate. Colette Tomolonis of Brattleboro said she wants charges pressed.
On the property at 219 Hamilton Road in Guilford were camping tents, a portable bathroom facility, a yellow school bus with colorful painting on the sides, tie dyed clothing hung on a tent, and drums and speakers on what appeared to be a small wooden stage near the silo. A spray painted sign at the entrance said Kindred Folk Farm and included a drawing of a heart.
Dry conditions and narrow dirt roads presented some challenges for firefighters. But the crews at the scene were "great," Bristol said.
"We haven't run out of water," he said at the scene at about 11 a.m. Monday.
The second-alarm fire brought in departments from Brattleboro Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, Vernon and Bernardston, Mass. Bristol said he thinks Chesterfield, N.H. covered the Guilford station.
No injuries among firefighters were reported. Bristol noted the response involved the exterior of the building only.
Reach staff writer Chris Mays at email@example.com and at @CMaysBR on Twitter.