EASTON, CT — In what looked like a scene from a roaring inferno, Easton firefighters and first responders answered a call about a structure fire at about 2:45 this morning at 330 Rockhouse Road.
The family, a mother and her adult son, escaped unharmed, and no firefighters or first responders were injured. But the house is uninhabitable, according to Steve Waugh, Easton Fire Department chief. There were no pets that Waugh is aware of.
“Basically what happened is the family went to bed and were awakened by the smoke detector,” Waugh said. “They looked outside and saw the garage was fully engulfed, and the fire was moving toward the house.”
They went outside and waited. When Easton firefighters arrived, the “whole house was involved,” Waugh said. “We established a water supply and knocked down the fire quickly and had people on scene put out the hot spots and overhaul everything.”
There was a problem with a propane tank outside the house that was leaking, Waugh said. “It was so hot that it melted the top of the tank. The firefighters had to secure it before they could leave.”
They worked in the pitch dark aside from the flames. No one was able to enter the house because it was too dangerous. They were finally able to pack up their gear and leave the scene at 5:30 a.m..
A mutual aid system they established several years ago worked very well, Waugh said. They had a lot of mutual aid from the Fairfield, Newtown, Redding, Stepney, Weston, and Westport fire departments. The Easton Police Department and Easton EMS also responded to the scene.
Stepney came in to provide station coverage, Newtown and Redding brought a pumper, Fairfield brought an engine and manpower, Westport provided a rapid intervention team and Weston provided manpower.
The Easton Fire Department turned over the situation to the Easton Police Department and to the insurance company to help the family find a place to stay. Waugh said he thinks the family has relatives nearby.
Firefighting during the COVID-19 pandemic added an extra layer of challenges, Waugh said. “We were conscious not to shake anyone’s hand. We adjusted our behavior and kept a social distance on the hose line as best we could while working in close proximity to each other. Once the equipment comes back, it will have to be disinfected.”
The fire marshal will conduct an investigation today. It might take out a while to figure out what caused the problem, according to Waugh.
This story is from the new Easton Courier website that revived Monroe’s longtime sister paper, which was shutdown along with the Monroe Courier.