Canton, Area Firefighters Battle Blaze on Hilltop Drive
November 11, 2016, John Fitts
Firefighters from the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department and other area departments responded to a structure fire at 5 Hilltop Drive, near the intersection of East Hill around 4 p.m. Friday evening. In the midst of heavy wind, crews battled the fire, which burned most heavily in the attic of the home. There were also solar panels on the home, and the fire flared up several times.
Most fire units were dismissed by 7:30 but others were called back later in the night to assist in the investigation.
Officials confirmed that one person was home at the time but was able to get out safely and is with family.
Members of the family’s church are coordinating efforts to help the family and Canton Compass will pass along information as we learn of it.
Fire officials provided the following account of the incident via a submitted release.
The Town of Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department responded to a number of 911 calls for smoke and flames in the area of East Hill Road and Gracey Road. Upon arrival, fire crews found the attic at 5 Hill Top Drive ablaze. The high wind conditions were pushing the fire through the right side of the attic area of the residence.
Within minutes, Canton’s Ladder 2 was on scene for the primary fire attack. The fire crew on Canton’s Engine 3 followed and provided the secondary fire attack and water supply. Approximately 20 Canton volunteer firefighters/EMTs responded to the scene aided by: Rescue 9, Tanker 7 and Canton’s Ambulance.
As the overhead power lines crackled, falling debris from the attic fire caused a small brush fire at the scene, which was exacerbated by the extreme dry conditions and high winds. The roof over the flaming attic also collapsed as interior fire crews fought the blaze, sending smoke, sparks and fire into the evening sky.
While Eversource was contacted to disconnect the power to the residence, fire crews shut off the solar panels on the roof, which could have potentially fed the fire.
There is no municipal water source to the area, so additional water supply was provided by mutual aid partners: Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department, Avon Volunteer Fire Department, New Hartford Fire Department and Barkhamsted East Volunteer Fire Company. Firefighters also accessed the water cistern at Red Fox Run.
Burlington Volunteer Fire Department provided coverage for the town while the incident was ongoing.
Canton’s Fire Police closed down multiple roadways in the immediate area to allow movement of apparatus and enhance the efficiency of water supply.
Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Goeben said, “Canton’s volunteer firefighters were able to accomplish the many tasks necessary for a well executed, aggressive interior fire attack due to the terrific response by our mutual aid partners. In addition, their support gave us the time for an extensive salvage and overhaul of the residence, which allowed us to protect and save many of the family’s private possessions.”
There were no reported injuries. The fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s office.