Investigators were still gathering information Monday after a fire destroyed a Coventry home early Saturday morning.
North Coventry Fire Department Capt. Ray Eldridge said the department received a call about a fire at 37 Roberta’s Court at approximately 6:20 a.m. Saturday, April 10.
High winds made it difficult to contain the fire, he said, and it spread within minutes of the department’s arrival and ultimately destroyed the home.
Eldridge said he originally thought people were inside because a car was in the garage, but found the house was unoccupied.
The home currently belongs to John and Ursula LeBlanc, who are trustees of the property and live in North Clemsford, Mass., the town assessor’s office said.
Reportedly, a family living there was not in the house at the time of the blaze.
Officials in the town manager’s office said the town had not set up a fund to aid the occupants because the town was still gathering more information as to who was living there.
Eldridge said the right side of garage attached to the home was fully engulfed in flames by the time he and other firefighters arrived at the scene.
The fire spread to the home quickly while firefighters were still examining the scene. “The way the wind was blowing, it caused the fire to spread quicker than it normally would,” Eldridge said.
He also said the home, which is located at the end of a cul-de-sac, was not near a fire hydrant, which forced the department to call for additional aid from other towns.
“Out here in the country, we don’t have that many fire hydrants,” Eldridge said.
North Coventry, Coventry, Bolton and University of Connecticut firefighters responded to the original call, while Tolland, Andover and Columbia – which brought a tanker, arrived after a second call.
“Without (mutual aid), we’d probably have a really tough time,” Eldridge said.
Even with the aid, the fire spread quickly and firefighters inside the home had to retreat when the roof started to collapse into the home.
Eldridge said at least 50 firefighters were at the scene and they were able to extinguish the fire after about 40 minutes, followed by an “extensive overhaul” to ensure no fire remained in the debris.
Coventry Fire Marshal Noel Waite said he has not yet determined an official cause of the fire, but he said it is not considered suspicious and it seems to have started in the garage.
“We just have to look at a few things” before determining an official cause, Waite said Monday.
Posted April 13, 2010 as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan
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