Fire at Rich Earth Institute


BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro Public Works staff called the Fire Department at 11:14 a.m. Tuesday after smelling smoke on Fuller Drive. A family home that also serves as the Rich Earth Institute, an organization that studies urine's benefit as a fertilizer, had a basement fire.

Brattleboro Fire Chief Michael Bucossi said the fire was started from debris in the basement. It was accidental, he said. It traveled up a wall from there. "They had smoke coming up from the back of the building," Bucossi said. The damage was minimal, with only minor smoke damage traveling to the first floor. The residence is still habitable.

"It was a good knockdown and we're just picking up the pieces now," he said around noontime Tuesday.

The incident was a best-case scenario for a fire, Bucossi said. Firefighters had controlled the fire by 11:43 a.m.

"It was right near the back door to the basement," he said. Firefighters were able to enter right where the fire was located. It also helped that the house was located near fire hydrants. One hydrant was only 200 feet from the house.

"Everything went really well," Bucossi said.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire.

"We found one cat in the house that was okay," he said. He believed the family only had one cat. The owners of the house, who are involved with the Rich Earth Institute, were made aware of the fire before noon.

Fire departments from Putney and Guilford, as well as Hinsdale and West Chesterfield, N.H., covered the Brattleboro Fire Stations.

Harmony Birch can be reached at, at @Birchharmony on Twitter and 802-254-2311, Ext. 153.


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