Milford house

Falling tree sets New Milford house on fire

NEW MILFORD – A couple and their pets escaped serious injuries when a tree crashed into their home on Tuesday night, causing flames to erupt.

Alex Quinn, who was sleeping in the house at the time, said he woke up around 11 p.m. after hearing a loud noise. After inspecting the house, he discovered that a huge tree had fallen on the single family home, shattering the roof.

“It knocked off the electrical wires that were next to the house and there were a lot of sparks,” Quinn said.

Within moments, the outside of the house caught fire.

“That’s when I knew we had to get out,” he said.

Quinn and his girlfriend grabbed what they could before fleeing the structure, including their 18-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Scout and two cats named Simi and Cleo.

The tree, which measured almost 2 feet in diameter at its base, snapped close to the ground and fell on the one-story house on Highway 7 near the Housatonic River.

There was no storm at the time and no apparent reason the tree fell, authorities said.

Fire Marshal Brian Ohmen said the tree caused significant damage to the attic of the house but did not penetrate the ceiling.

Ohmen said firefighters quickly extinguished the flames before they spread to the rest of the house. Firefighters from several companies, including Water Witch, Gaylordsville and the Kent Volunteer Fire Department, responded.

Quinn praised the volunteer firefighters’ work in extinguishing the blaze and offering all possible assistance.

“They were really amazing,” he said. “There were at least 30 firefighters here, all volunteers, doing whatever they could to help. “

Quinn, who had rented the riverside house for almost three years, said he had a small recording studio inside.

“The firefighters were able to cover all the material with tarpaulins,” he said. “As a result, no equipment was damaged.”

They also asked Quinn and his girlfriend if they needed any further help.

“A guy realized we had a cat and said you’re going to need your litter box,” Quinn said. “The next thing I know here is a 6 foot tall firefighter comes out of the house with a Tidy Cat bag in one hand and the litter box in the other. I can just say enough about how great they were.

The animals were staying with relatives while Quinn worked with the American Red Cross on Wednesday. The house is currently uninhabitable.

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