Lightning strike, a dog fence cause a garage fire on Birchwood Road

Firefighters work at the scene of a garage fire on Birchwood Road Friday morning. Monroe Volunteer Fire Department photo

MONROE, CT — Fire Marshall William “Bill” Davin believes a lightning strike hit a dog fence wire, sparking a fire that engulfed the garage of a house on Birchwood Road in flames early Friday morning, according to a post on the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 Facebook page.

The family of three, a couple and their college-aged daughter, safely evacuated their home, but unfortunately their pet cat died in the fire, Monroe Fire Chief Kevin Catalano said.

The emergency call came in around 5:55 a.m. and Stepney, Monroe and Stevenson volunteer firefighters responding to the scene encountered heavy fire in the garage, located beneath the ranch-style home.

Firefighters deployed three attack hose lines and were able to prevent the fire from spreading into the living areas of the home, according to Catalano.

He said no firefighters were injured, though torrential rains and roadway flooding posed a challenge for crews driving to the fire — located near the Newtown border off Hattertown Road.

Davin credits the husband for keeping the door closed between the garage and lower level family room, saving the rest of the house by limiting the fire’s spread. The house was also equipped with working smoke alarms.

Monroe Volunteer Fire Department photo

Two vehicles were destroyed and the garage sustained significant fire damage, while the rest of the home sustained smoke damage, Catalano said.

Mutual aid was provided by the Long Hill Fire Department’s rapid intervention team, the White Hills Fire Department provided station coverage and the Newtown Fire Department provided additional tanker trucks.

The Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service and town police officers also provided support on scene.

The last fire units were back in service about six hours later.

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