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Second Sandy Hook Fire In Two Days Destroys Home



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For the second time in less than 48 hours, all five of Newtown’s volunteer fire companies responded to a fully involved structure fire in Sandy Hook.

Calls to dispatch reported black smoke and fire from a house, which is exactly what the first firefighter confirmed upon arrival late Friday afternoon. The April 24 fire was reportedly fully involving the garage and spreading into the main house at 1 Vining Road as local fire companies converged on the scene just off Toddy Hill Road.

The April 24 fire followed an overnight fire in Sandy Hook that destroyed one home and damaged another. That call came in just before midnight April 22 and kept firefighters busy until early the next morning.

As with that overnight fire, Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Chief Bill Halstead served as the officer in command on Friday. He and others who responded encountered a fire and heavy black smoke that was initially spotted by a passerby in the eastern half of the house, which included a garage and finished space above.

The home, according to Assessor’s Records, was a 2.5 story Colonial style dwelling constructed in 1948 with 1,805 square feet of living space. It is owned, also according to records, by Andrew J. Buonaiuto and Laura A. McCreight. The single-family home was on a 2-acre lot.

Deputy Fire Marshal Steve Murphy told The Newtown Bee Saturday morning that he and Fire Marshal Rich Frampton “have ideas” as to the start of the fire.

“It is still under investigation,” Murphy added. The deputy fire marshal said the home was being renovated, and that no one was living there at the time of yesterday’s fire.

The house, he believes, will be “a full loss” due to the extent of the damage.

It took less than 40 minutes to extinguish the flames, but firefighters remained on the scene dousing the remaining few hot spots for another hour.

Chief Halstead said between 40 and 50 volunteers rushed to assist. Firefighters from Sandy Hook, Botsford, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville and Hook & Ladder were all sent to the scene.

Mutual aid was received from Southbury, who sent a tanker and a crew. Monroe's Stepney fire company provided coverage at Botsford’s firehouse.

Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteers responded and provided coverage, and Eversource sent a crew to the scene to de-energize power lines to the house.

No injuries were reported.

Toddy Hill Road was closed between its intersections with Sugarloaf and Still Hill. A portable pond was used to collect water delivered by tankers, and then pumped out to the hoses.

By 5:55 pm all firefighters cleared from the scene.

Fire quickly spread from the garage and finished upper space of the home at 1 Vining Road into the living area of the home on April 24. Firefighters from all five of Newtown’s companies responded to the call. —Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue photo
—Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue photo
Firefighters from all five of Newtown’s volunteer companies, along with a tanker and crew from Southbury, responded to the fire at 1 Vining Road on April 24. —Bee Photo, Hicks
Apparatus and equipment staged on Toddy Hill and Vining Road Friday afternoon. A portable pond was set up south of this location, at Toddy Hill’s intersection with Longview. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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