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Fire Damages 19th Century Woodbury Home

Between the Flanders Road fire and a man who fell down an embankment in Woodbury, the fire department had a busy Halloween night.

 

When Woodbury Fire Chief Janet Morgan informed CL&P that Flanders Road was a high priority for clean-up after Hurricane Sandy, little did she know that within a day, she would need that road clear after a house built in the 1800s caught fire.

"They did a great job clearing that road," she said, after a tree fell on Flanders Road and resulted in its closing. "We wouldn't have gotten there tonight otherwise and we wouldn't have saved the house. We would have had to go through Bethlehem."

The fire call came in right before 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. The home is located at 241 Flanders Rd. No one was injured in the fire, Morgan said.

"They are an older couple," she said after coming back to the firehouse Wednesday night. Morgan declined to name them.

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Morgan said the structure is not damaged to the point of being unsafe.

The White Pages website notes that the occupants of the home are Alexander Palesty, John Palesty and Brigitte Palesty, but that was not confirmed by Morgan.

"The homeowner did try to combat the fire by himself," Morgan said. "He knew was happened and he was trying to extinguish it. He realized it was out of his control and that's when he called."

Woodbury resident Peter Teague posted on the Woodbury-Middlebury Patch Facebook page, saying he heard over the scanner that the cause of the fire was related to a generator. Morgan declined to confirm this as the fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire.

"We just know that there was a structure fire on Flanders Road," she said. "It was limited to the breezeway [of the home] and the immediate roof and walls of the breezeway."

The home was built in the 1800s and consisted of a post-and-beam construction, Morgan said, and because of this, the firefighters took great care and time to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.

"I didn't want to have to come back at 2 a.m. because something was smoldering so we really took our time," Morgan said.

She said the firefighters worked to put out the fire for approximately three-and-a-half hours.

The Bethlehem Fire Department was on standby and the Southbury Fire Department brought its tanker to the scene, as Morgan said one of her trucks is out for service.

While the fire department was combating the Flanders Road fire, another call came in a little before 10 p.m. and EMS personnel and firefighters went to the scene on Judson Avenue.

Upon arrival, a man was put on a stretcher and transported to an area hospital after falling down an embankment, Morgan said.

The man was trying to get to a nearby river to fill up a bottle of water, she said, and reminded residents that those in need of water may come to the Emergency Services Building at 25 Quassuk Rd.

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