Fire damages Oak Hill Road home (1/21/10)

Jan. 21, 2010

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Even though Warren Glore lost much of he and his family’s possessions — including a pet cat — during an afternoon house fire last week, the Williston resident considers himself fortunate.

“I think the lucky thing was that the fire happened in the afternoon and nobody was there,” Glore said on Tuesday. “I’m thankful for that.”

The fire occurred at the Glore home on Oak Hill Road sometime on Thursday afternoon. Glore said a passerby noticed smoke coming from the one-story house and called the Williston Fire Department. Fire crews responded to the call just after 4 p.m.

“I came home that afternoon and found fire trucks in my driveway,” Glore said.

Williston Fire Capt. Tim Gerry said he believes the fire smoldered within the home for three to four hours before the call went out. Gerry said upon entering the house, firefighters encountered thick, black smoke with zero visibility. Firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to view areas obscured by smoke.

Crews discovered the fire had burned through the first floor and into the basement, leaving a 6-by-10-foot hole in the floor, Gerry said.

“Through some of our good training and entry techniques, we luckily had no one fall through,” Gerry said.

Since the fire was located away from available hydrants, the Williston Fire Department called in several neighboring departments equipped with water tanker trucks. Crews responded from Essex, Hinesburg, Richmond, South Burlington, Shelburne, Colchester Center, Underhill and Bolton, along with a crew from the Vermont National Guard.

Thanks to the quick response, firefighters had the scene under control in roughly 15 minutes, Gerry said. He said the house’s structure is sound, but the interior sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

Gerry said fire investigators aren’t certain of the cause, but it may have started when leftover ash ignited firewood or flooring near the home’s fireplace.

“At this point, (the fire) is ruled accidental,” Gerry said.

While no people were home at the time of the fire, Glore said a pet cat died. He said he’s relied on the charity of friends and the Red Cross told him it is available if necessary.

Glore is working with his insurance company to determine what is salvageable. He’s found shelter with friends and his children are staying at their mother’s house. As for now, Glore said he’s “fine.”

“I’d just like to thank the fire departments,” Glore said.


To make a donation for the fire victims, contact the Red Cross – Northern Vermont Chapter at 29 Mansfield Ave., Burlington, Vt. 05401 or call 660-9130.