Chester fire leaves mother, daughter homeless
By Kevin O’Connor
Staff Writer | February 10,2014
PHOTO BY LEN EMERY
Smoke billows high into the air from a blaze Sunday morning that destroyed a home on Trebo Road in Chester. Below, firefighters put out remaining hot spots from the fire.
CHESTER — A mother and daughter were injured and left homeless Sunday after a morning fire destroyed their rustic home a half-mile from the nearest hydrant.
Local firefighters received a report of a smoky blaze in the woods at 461 Trebo Road shortly after 8 a.m.
“The building went up very quick, like a dry match,” Chester Fire Chief Matthew Wilson said. “I was the first one on the scene and it was fully involved. We had structural collapse by the time the first engine arrived.”
The local department called for help from colleagues in Bellows Falls, Cavendish, Ludlow, Proctorsville, Rockingham, Springfield, Weathersfield and Windham. Tapping a hydrant on Route 103, they used tanker trucks to shuttle water up a narrowing street and down a long, snowy driveway.
“There’s not a worse part of the road to have a fire on,” Wilson said. “It was a huge challenge, but we made it work.”
Authorities didn’t name the two occupants but said they were taken by ambulance to a hospital for unspecified injuries.
“They’ve lost everything,” Wilson said. “One of the ladies didn’t have shoes to get out of the building with.”
The American Red Cross will pay for the family to stay at area lodging. The local Lisai’s Market and Jiffy Mart donated food for firefighters, who faced such surprises as explosions from grill-size propane tanks.
“There wasn’t a lot we could do or salvage,” Wilson said. “It was an older handmade building. It’s still under investigation, but it’s not suspicious.”