PROSPECT — An 85-year-old man has been treated and released from the hospital following an early morning fire that tore through his home at 122 Waterbury Road.
Fire Marshall Keith Griffin said the fire was reported at 1:20 a.m. Friday and firefighters were on the scene within minutes. Griffin said when firefighters arrived on the scene smoke was billowing from the house and minutes after a basement window blew out.
Firefighters from Cheshire, Bethany, Beacon Falls and Naugatuck assisted Prospect in fighting the fire and Route 69 was closed until about 6:30 a.m.
Eimle Chartier, who owns the home and was the only one in the house at the time of the fire, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for smoke inhalation, Griffin said. Chartier was treated and released Friday, Griffin said.
Griffin said the cause of the fire was an accidental electrical fire. Griffin said Chartier ran an extension cord to a heater in his basement to keep pipes from freezing. Griffin said the cord was run through a door from the garage leading to the basement and the door couldn’t close all the way. Every time the door was opened or closed it would pinch the wire. The wire became frayed, he said, and short-circuited, causing the fire.
Griffin said the fire traveled up an opening between the wall and the outside of the home and spread through the home to the attic. He said the home is inhabitable with the kitchen the most damaged. Chartier’s insurance company is putting him up in a hotel, he said.
Griffin pointed out that Chartier’s smoke detectors were not working because the batteries were dead and urged everyone to check their smoke detectors to ensure they’re working.
Griffin said Chartier told fire officials that he wasn’t sure what woke him up, but he woke up and was able to get out of the house.
“He’s a very lucky man that he woke up,” Griffin said.