RIDGEFIELD - The fast thinking of a teenager and two burst water pipes saved a Ridgefield home from serious structural damage when a fire broke out at 7 p.m. Monday.

Three teenage children were home at the residence of Paul Boucher , 21 Boulder Hill Road, when they heard banging and explosions, said Ridgefield Fire Marshal Dave Lathrop .

"They thought it was the furnace and one of the boys threw the safety switch for the furnace and ran downstairs but came upon thick, black smoke," Lathrop said.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found heavy smoke coming from the basement and entered through a rear door to find a fire in the corner of the boiler room.

"The saving grace was that while the furnace was in proximity to the fire, the fire had melted two copper water lines and the water had sprayed the fire and kept it controlled until firefighters arrived," Lathrop said.

There was no structural damage, just smoke and water damage to the basement area.

The boiler room was where Boucher built plastic model cars and it was aerosol cans of paint and lacquer that had exploded, Lathrop said. The fire was started when an extension cord that had been wound up heated, igniting cardboard boxes that were piled on the cord, Lathrop said.

Contact Susan Tuz at stuz@newstimes.com or (203) 731-3352.