Franklin Countys First News

Updated: Fire fighters contain morning blaze to one bedroom; fire ruled accidental

Smoke is showing from the second floor front bedroom at 19 Jay Street in Wilton today. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the one room upstairs, where the blaze is believed to have started.

3 p.m. Update: Wilton Fire Chief Sonny Dunham said the investigator with the state's Fire Marshal's Office has ruled the cause of the fire to be accidental. An electric blanket was crumpled up at the end of the bed, shorted out and the bed's foot board caught fire, Dunham said. Five cats perished in the fire. The Red Cross was contacted to help out.

WILTON - About 26 firefighters from five area towns were able to quickly contain and extinguish a fire that apparently started in an upstairs bedroom in the home at 19 Jay Street this morning.

An investigator with the state's Fire Marshal's Office is on the way to look into the cause of the blaze that heavily damaged an upstairs bedroom. Currently, two adults say they live at the older home with numerous cats and dogs.

Wilton Fire Chief Sonny Dunham said other adjacent rooms upstairs received smoke and water damage. When he arrived he saw one cat leave through the front door and didn't find any other pets.

"Maybe they got out another way," he said.

Anna Powers, who lives at the home and is a co-owner, said she took John David Roberts to work early this morning and came back home, parked her truck in the yard of the home and went to sleep.

Alicia Mitchell stopped by the home to check on Powers and noticed the smoke upstairs as she approached the door.

"I went up a few steps to the (front) door and couldn't breathe no more," Mitchell said. She called 911 for help at 9:57 a.m. Wednesday. Mitchell first feared that Powers was sleeping upstairs but was relieved when she found her asleep in her truck.

"There was a lot of smoke at the top of the stairs," Powers said.

Chief Dunham said the house, heavily littered, made getting to the fire more difficult. He called for the state's Fire Marshal's Office to investigate the cause.

Powers said she thought an electric blanket had been left on and might have been to blame. The investigator is due to arrive after 2 p.m. The house was insured.

The towns of Wilton, East Dixfield, Jay, Livermore Falls and Farmington were on scene. Chesterville Fire Department provided backup at the Wilton fire station. Wilton police assisted with traffic control. Jay Street is located off Route 2, just a short block west of the Main and Maxwell Road intersection.

A fire fighter pushes a mattress charred by fire out the second story window at 19 Jay Street in Wilton this morning.

About 30 firefighters from five towns were able to quickly contain and extinguish a fire that broke out in a upstairs bedroom at 19 Jay Street in Wilton.

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24 Responses »

  1. Is it just me or does something sound off about this story.

  2. Hmmm....why would one be sleeping in vehicle with a warm house and what used to be a bed to sleep in?

  3. What Julie, you dont sleep in your truck at 10:00 a.m. in December? I thought everyone did that. :)

  4. That's exactly what I thought!

  5. Not totally implausible but odd just the same. Hope the critters are okay.

  6. a little cold to be sleeping in a truck at this time of the year....

  7. fell asleep in the truck? in December?

  8. Why was she sleeping in her truck?

  9. Hmmmmmm fishy

  10. Its real nice to you that all you people are worried about my mom? Clearly all you are worried about is why was she sleeping in her truck. Really nice to know that you all don t have a heart. I think That I am thankful she was not sleeping in the house today or she might be with us tonight.
    So for all heartless people who want to know why she was sleeping in her truck can keep right on guessing.

    @merrill 2 of the cats made and all the rest are deceased including the favorite cat (tucker) is gone
    put the dogs all made it

  11. There are health issues that can cause someone to be fatigued and fall asleep if they are tired. The people that lived in this home are elderly, and suffer from significant health problems and stressors right now. The woman that fell asleep in the truck could have been very well exhausted and stopped for a minute in her truck before getting out of the truck and dozed off. It is plausible.

    Please, if you don't know the whole story, don't start smack talking and put some faith that maybe God was looking out for the woman who fell asleep in her car. If she had gone in the house to sleep, it's possible we would be looking at the loss of human life.

  12. @ Preemie nurse ty and you know what you are talking about and that is what happened. It would not have been the first time i have went and she was asleep in her truck. I have been going there everyday for almost a month now to check on her and him.

  13. Before everyone jumps to conclusions, the woman in question has a history of if not narcolepsy something close to it. As someone who's known her literally his entire life (and I'm 40) its completely normal for her. Factor in the fact that she has bum legs and can't make it up the steps easily, its far easier to doze off in the truck then it is to go up the steps and sleep there.

    I'm just thankful that the loss of life was contained to the cats and not any of the people involved, and not my father or our friend. Had the blanket gone up while either or both of them were in bed, I'd be making funeral arrangements right now.

  14. This is not the first fire I have heard of that has started with an electric blanket. So glad Anna WAS sleeping in her truck. Sorry to hear about the family pets, so sad =( .....

  15. Well said Preemie Nurse.

  16. Again, I have been stopped for publishing less offensive remarks than the ones here. I only want to know about her other property in Farmington Falls, if it is still standing and could she move back is passibile

  17. i sure am glad noone was hurt .hope the pets are ok too i dident know they still had that kind of blankets

  18. @alicia, Sorry about your mom. Agree--we can't presume to know anything about someone's life based on so little information.

  19. Thank God she wasn't in the house.. Maybe that was his plan! Either way, very lucky! Sorry about your critters, but glad everyone is ok!

  20. GAMB, thank you.

    It's good to know that not everyone is as cruel and suspicious as the early posters on this discussion.

  21. Scary, glad no one was hurt

  22. people like to judge based on what they want to think..doesnt work that way.im so sorry for the cats death but happy no humans were hurt

  23. who the hell cares why she was sleeping in her truck....doesn't everyone have better things to do with their time than to wonder what their neighbors are up to and why.....

  24. I have sat in a truck in the winter before just to feel the warmth of the sun coming into the truck on my face when I didn't have heat .

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