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Crews Respond to Structure Fire in Essex

Just after 1500hrs on Wednesday, May 6th, Essex Junction Fire was toned out for automatic mutual aid to 46 Hillside Circle in Essex town for a reported structure fire.

Students coming home on a bus spotted a fire on the back deck of a house. Those students observation led to the emergency dispatch. Crews responding to their stations could already see the smoke column immediately after dispatch. Essex Town K2 immediately requested Williston Fire and Underhill-Jericho Fire for mutual aid with an engine from each department to respond to the scene.

15 Engine 1 arrived on scene to find significant fire showing from the rear of the structure and the peak of the roof. Crews with the assistance of Essex Police pulled multiple lines off from Engine 1. The police manned a 2 1/2" blitz gun at the back of the structure, while Essex Town firefighters pulled and manned another 2 1/2" line at the rear of the structure. At this point in time, Utility 61 arrived on the scene and 8C2 established the Hillside Circle command, encountering a resident who reported there may be a resident missing inside the burning home. Upon the arrival of more firefighters, members deployed a 1 3/4" hand-line through the front door of the residence to continue to extinguish the fire as well as search for the possible occupant.

Ladder 3 and Williston Fire Engine 2 arrived simultaneously, with Engine 2 assisting Essex firefighters with hand-line deployment. Ladder 3 was able to position on the front side of the home and put the aerial up to the roof of the structure. The crew from Ladder 3 was immediately tasked with forcing entry to a man door in the garage area of the home in order to verify whether the missing occupant was in fact inside, as well as pulling a 1 3/4" hand-line to the front side of the building to extinguish fire that was showing from the eves. It was quickly determined that in fact no one was in the residence at the time of the fire and the crews focused on extinguishing the fire. Engine 21 arrived shortly after and the crew was put to work on the second floor of the residence performing overhaul tasks and opening up to check for extension. At this time command was transferred to 15C2 upon his arrival on the scene. The fire was mostly extinguished within 40 minutes on scene.

As the crew from Ladder 3 as well as Essex firefighters began working on overhaul in the attic area, members from UJFD and EFD began working off from Ladder 3 to overhaul the eves along the second floor of the structure. Multiple ground ladders from Ladder 3 were thrown around the home for members to gain access to the attic area with hand-lines for overhaul. The firefighters from Essex Junction Fire Department operated on the scene for just over four hours before being released by fire command.

Around 1900 the fire was declared out. No residents were home and there were no injuries to report. The cause of the fire is undetermined but not suspicious. The fire is believed to have started in the deck area of the home.The home was determined to be a total loss by Essex Fire Chief Charles Cole.

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