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March 17. 2014 9:41PM

Fire ravages Cornish home

CORNISH — Four people were displaced by a house fire Monday afternoon, fire officials said.

Firefighters responded to 300 Center Road at 12:31 p.m., Cornish Fire Chief Scott Reuthe said Monday night.

When firefighters arrived, they found “the side toward the road was completely engulfed in flames on the outside,” Reuthe said of the home.

The fire went to two alarms at 12:43 p.m. Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control, but to put out the remaining flames they had to wait for an excavator to remove part of the building, which had collapsed, Reuthe said.

“Two-thirds of the building was destroyed,” Reuthe said, including two bedrooms and a garage.

Investigators from the state Fire Marshal’s Office spent three hours investigating the cause of the blaze.

Preliminary findings indicate an improperly disposed of cigarette at the front door, underneath the front deck, caused the fire, Reuthe said.

The mother of the homeowner and a 2-year-old were the only people home at the time of the fire.

They were alerted to the blaze because of working smoke detectors in the house, and were able to get out safely, Reuthe said.

The Red Cross was notified to assist four residents left homeless by the fire, he said.

Along with first-alarm mutual aid responders Plainfield and Meriden, fire crews came from Claremont and Vermont, including Ascutney, West Windsor and Windsor.

mpierce@newstote.com


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