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