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Five Companies Respond To Head Of Meadow Structure Fire



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Newtown Hook & Ladder had a busy 24 hours earlier this week.

It started with a structure fire in the company’s district on Head of Meadow Road that required all five of Newtown’s volunteer companies’ resources — and ended the next day as Hook and Ladder volunteers assisted in fighting a damaging fire at New Milford High School.

According to Deputy Fire Marshal David Ober, an all-call went out to respond to a structure fire at 104 Head of Meadow at approximately 11 pm July 4.

All five Newtown fire companies were called in to fight the structure fire on the property, and firefighters from Stony Hill (Bethel) and Brookfield were called in as well.

The Brookfield volunteers responded to a “small grass fire” that occurred on Currituck Road while the Newtown firefighters fought the Head of Meadow blaze. The home at 104 Head of Meadow is a two floor, 2,684 square foot, Colonial style building, according to the online assessor’s database. The owner of the property is listed as Elyjah Perry.

Ober said when firefighters arrived at the scene, the building was already “well-involved,” but “everyone was out of the house.”

The efforts to fight the fire were hampered by the fact that the area has no hydrants, and is a dead end road off Castle Hill Road, causing the fire to take longer to extinguish, Ober said. Numerous tanker trucks were called to the scene to provide water.

“A lot of stuff was going on,” said Ober. “We were there a while.”

Newtown Hook & Ladder Fire Chief Chris Ward said when fire companies arrived the fire was “already very advanced” and had “ventilated the roof.” It took approximately 40 firefighters from all five companies and 50,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire. He echoed Ober’s observations about the difficult access saying the property involved was located on a narrow dead end road forcing responding tanker trucks to back in.

Ward thought the fire likely started on the first floor, and then moved up into the second before burning its way through the roof. The home was likely a “total loss,” especially due to how far advanced the fire was by the time the fire companies arrived.

“The sooner people call 911, the better the outcome,” said Ward. “When we’re faced with an advanced fire, there’s less we can do to save the structure.”

Ober said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Then, on July 5, three firefighters and an engine from Newtown Hook & Ladder responded to a fire at New Milford High School. David White of Newtown Hook & Ladder said the team from Newtown was initially dispatched to Brookfield along with a pumper and personnel from Hawleyville to cover their station before being called onsite to the high school.

When they arrived, White said the fire was pretty much extinguished but Hook & Ladder volunteers assisted the New Milford department in removing damaged sheeting and foam from the roof.

White said it was the second fire at New Milford since a reroofing project began. The first fire in March was much smaller and not caused by the roofers. This fire caused a large amount of smoke and water damage to the center of the school.

Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

A structure fire at 104 Head of Meadow occurred on July 4, severely damaging the home. —photos courtesy of Newtown Hook & Ladder
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