Milford house

The cause of the New Milford multi-family home fire is undetermined


NEW MILFORD – The cause of the Housatonic Avenue house fire that sent six people to hospital on Thursday could not be determined.

“The fire is listed as undetermined because a cause can only be classified if you are able to eliminate all the potential causes – leaving only one way to start the fire,” the fire marshal said Brian Ohmen.

Investigators reduced the cause of the fire to two alarms to two potential sources of ignition, Ohmen said.

“Because of this,” he said, “we have to leave the cause undetermined. “

The Housatonic Avenue fire started around 2 a.m. The back of the multi-family house was on fire when the firefighters arrived.

The three New Milford fire companies responded, and Brookfield and Danbury helped each other. It took the firefighters a few hours to bring the blaze under control.

Eleven people occupied the 2,600 square foot house. All managed to escape before the fire escalated, but six were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and minor burns.

“The Red Cross came to help residents in immediate need, and the city’s social services helped families,” Ohmen said.

Investigators discovered three smoke detectors under a collapsed ceiling inside the house.

“We are very fortunate that this fire did not end in a very different way,” Ohmen said.

The Fire Marshal said it was essential for people to regularly check their smoke detectors, keep grills away from homes when cooking and always properly dispose of smoking items.

Other recent fires

The cause of the April 11 fire at the Kimberly Clark Corporation on Pickett District Road could not be established either, Ohmen said.

However, not all structure fires in New Milford are considered indeterminate.

Hot ashes from a wood-burning stove placed in a plastic garbage can have been determined to start the January 11 fire that spread from a boat to a shed – and left a house slightly damaged – on Carmen Hill Road, Ohmen said.

The cause of the fire that caused a total loss to a one-story house on Birch Road in February was electrical, Ohmen said. This fire, he said, started in the kitchen.

Firefighters responded to another electrical fire that started in a kitchen this year – on Long Mountain Road. Ohmen said the May 5 fire started on the ceiling of a kitchen on the property.

The fire marshal said the cause of the April 26 house fire on Old Town Park Road started in the engine compartment of a Volkswagen convertible in a garage.

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