By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
PROSPECT — Three adults and two pets escaped a house fire Sunday night unharmed, but the blaze left their home on Summit Road uninhabitable.
Firefighters responded to a fire at 18 Summit Road — a two-family home — shortly after 10:30 p.m., Fire Marshal Tony Muniz said.
Fire Chief William Lauber said the home was engulfed in heavy fire by the time firefighters arrived. The fire was concentrated in an area that had been converted from a garage into living space, he said.
Lauber said firefighters attacked the fire and had it under control in about 30 minutes.
“We did chase some hot spots up into the attic area,” Lauber said.
No one was injured, he said.
The fire caused heavy damage in the area where it originated, while the other living unit sustained significant smoke damage, he said.
Officials said three residents and a dog were outside of the house when firefighters arrived on the scene. Firefighters found a pet turtle alive and well inside the part of the home that was unaffected by the fire.
The house is owned by Joseph Mayo and Jessica Williams, according to town property records.
Muniz said the fire was accidental. He said it started from a fire in a fireplace that is outside the home, but connected to the house. The house previously had access to connect a flue for a wood stove or another fireplace to the exterior fireplace for an exhaust, he said. This connection point was closed off with a plate and a wall was built inside to cover up the area, he said.
The plate failed, Muniz said, and embers and heat from a fire that was burning in the outside fireplace sparked a fire in the flue area that had been covered up.
Bethany Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid at the scene and Cheshire Fire Department covered the Prospect firehouse during the fire.