Fire leaves Clarendon family of six homeless
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | April 09,2013
Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
Firefighters pour water onto flames shooting out of the roof of a house Monday afternoon on Gravel Pit Road in Clarendon.
CLARENDON — A family of six is now homeless after a fire destroyed their Clarendon home early Monday afternoon.
When firefighters arrived at the single-family home on Gravel Pit Road in Clarendon just before 1 p.m., the flames were going through the roof, which quickly deteriorated, according to the fire chief.
“As the fire rapidly progressed the second floor collapsed in to the first floor, which greatly hampered efforts to quickly extinguish and contain this blaze,” said Clarendon Fire Chief Norman Flanders.
Firefighters poured water on the flames, while they used saws and axes to cut into portions of the walls and roof in an effort to vent the smoke and heat.
The trailer home with a two-story attachment was the home of Linda Hampton, her sister, brother-in-law and their three children.
Flanders said the fire began in the second-floor attachment when a six-way electrical plug caught fire.
“The fire was discovered by the brother-in-law by hearing the activated smoke detector in the residence on the second floor,” the fire chief said. “He then called 911 to report the fire”
The fire chief said it was hard to fight the fire because the roof collapsed on the second floor, which then collapsed on the first floor, forcing them to fight it all from the outside. He said there were hard to reach places on the second floor and they used a deck gun for penetration to reach the hot spots.
“This was done as the stability of the second floor could not hold firefighters and we were not putting anyone up there for safety reasons,” Flanders said.
A nearby neighbor Joe Galarneau said he saw the smoke coming from the home when he stepped out on his porch before getting into his truck and drove down to the house.
“When I drove in, they were just outside,” said Galarneau while watching firefighters dowsing the house with water. “It was quick.”
No injuries were reported, which the fire chief said he was very happy about because of the extent of the fire.
“Efforts by all firefighters, in spite of the difficulty to reach various locations, to put the fire in check quickly, was a job well done by all involved,” he said.
The towns of Clarendon, West Rutland, Shrewsbury, Tinmouth, Ira, Wallingford and Rutland Town responded to the fire.
American Red Cross volunteers were in touch with the family to help with temporary lodging and financial assistance for food and clothing lost in the fire.
Doug Bishop, director of communications with American Red Cross, said they were informed of the fire early on in the afternoon and quickly moved to help support the family. He said they did not have specific information about the family, only that the home was a complete loss.