Cause of Pumpkin Hill fire still unknown

SPECTRUM/Little more than charred rubble remained of a home at 175 Pumpkin Hill Road in New Milford after at the late-evening fire of June 17, 2011.
SPECTRUM/Little more than charred rubble remained of a home at 175 Pumpkin Hill Road in New Milford after at the late-evening fire of June 17, 2011.Norm Cummings

The cause of a fire that destroyed a 3,750-square-foot home on Pumpkin Hill Road June 17 was still undetermined as of early this week.

The house at 175 Pumpkin Hill Road was owned by Mary Mazza, who owns three houses on the property, according to Vision Appraisal.

The blaze was fought by six fire companies and left the 1,012-square-foot structure with only remnants of outside walls standing, New Milford fire marshal Karen Facey said.

Water Witch Hose Co. No. 2 responded to the 911 call at 10:22 p.m., assisted by firefighters from Northville, Gaylordsville and Brookfield, according to the police log.

"The fire had a good head start on us when we arrived," Water Witch chief Jeff Emmons said.

"A neighbor driving by noticed a light and then one of the windows (of the house) blew out and it burst into a ball of flame," Chief Emmons said the caller told police dispatch.

A call for additional manpower went out at 11:23 p.m. to Bridgewater and Washington. Tankers were brought in from those towns, as well.

The scene was cleared at 5:30 a.m. and the town's Public Works Department was called in Saturday with an excavator to raze the standing walls, according to the police log.

That was done so firefighters could work through the smoldering remnants assuring the blaze would not rekindle, Chief Emmons said.

"We were able to knock it down, but not without difficulty," Chief Emmons said of the fire. "As we got through the roof, we found a second and then a third roof under it. It hampered us."

American Red Cross supervisor Paul Shipman said assistance was given to a family of three -- two adults and one child -- at the fire scene Saturday in the early morning hours.

Temporary lodging was found for the family, Mr. Shipman said. The family's name was not released.