Brattleboro home destroyed by fire

Friday January 25, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- A Wednesday night blaze kept firefighters at the scene from 9:40 p.m. until the last unit left at 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

Fire Chief Michael Bucossi told the Reformer that there is not a known cause as of Thursday afternoon.

"We know an area of origin," he said, "but because of damage, it's going to be too hard to narrow down the exact cause."

A husband and wife had been living in the mobile home with built-on additions on Covey Road where the fire took place, but the couple was not there when it started. They were just getting home when the fire had been reported to Brattleboro Fire Department.

"They discovered the fire when they came home," said Chief Bucossi.

One small dog died in the fire.

The Brattleboro Fire Department reported that the fire had been under control around 11:36 p.m.

Town fire departments that aided in the incident included Putney Fire Department, Greenfield, Mass., Fire Department and Dummerston Fire Department. Tankers that had been brought to the scene came from the towns of Guilford, Putney, Dummerston as well as Chesterfield and Hinsdale, N.H. There was also an engine from Keene, N.H. on scene. Other organizations present included Rescue Inc., Brattleboro Police and Brattleboro Department of Public Works.

The cold temperatures kept firefighters monitoring the weather throughout the fire to keep everyone safe by rotating members. Temperatures fluctuated between minus 3 degrees and minus 10 degrees.

"Because of the cold and the conditions, there's no better way to describe it than brutal," said Chief Bucossi. "We try to get the firefighters in a warm area for a little while and make work periods short if we can. It's really a difficult situation."

The couple who owned the mobile home are currently staying with friends.

"Because (the house) is in the rural part of town, it's out of the hydrant district and our water supply actually came from a pond. The dry hydrant was actually built, dug out and installed this past fall with the combination of grant money that the fire department secured and landowner funds," said Chief Bucossi.

The water used at the scene had come from a dry hydrant on the pond at the intersection of Ames Hill and Abbot Road, which is about a mile away from Covey Road.

"We do live in New England and the winters get harsh. The weather gets harsh. You just got to be prepared," said Chief Bucossi. "You should get your heating appliances serviced on a regular basis and if you use alternative heat sources, make sure they are installed and vented properly by certified people.

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


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