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Fire Destroys Pomfret Sugarhouse

A Teago firefighter looks for lingering embers at the scene of a two-alarm fire in Pomfret on Jan. 16, 2014. Seven local fire departments assisted in combating the blaze, which consumed a sugar house. There were no reported injuries. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage)

A Teago firefighter looks for lingering embers at the scene of a two-alarm fire in Pomfret on Jan. 16, 2014. Seven local fire departments assisted in combating the blaze, which consumed a sugar house. There were no reported injuries. (Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage) Purchase photo reprints »

Pomfret — A Pomfret sugar house that has been in use for a long time was destroyed in a fire Thursday, but firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to a nearby home.

Firefighters were called to 8350 Pomfret Road at 12:16 p.m. and found the structure already fully engulfed in flames. They immediately began to spray a house about 50 feet away in order to make sure it didn’t overheat and catch fire from sparks coming off the nearby blaze.

The property’s owners, Duane and Ruth Harrington, were not home at the time of the fire. The Harringtons’ daughter, Rhonda Keenan, answered the phone Thursday evening and said her father has been sugaring for as long as she can remember.

“This is my parent’s livelihood and it’s what (my dad has) done for forever,” Keenan said about sugaring. “It’s what he knows and what he does and what he loves to do.”

Pomfret-Teago Fire Chief Kevin Rice said the cause is unknown, although he suspects it might have been caused by an electrical heater that was used to heat the shack and prevent pipes from freezing.

The sugar house is a total loss.

“It is basically a frame structure. There’s not much to it,” Rice said. “It went pretty quickly.”

Firefighters from Woodstock, Hartford, Sharon, Barnard and East Barnard assisted, and the fire was under control in about 30 minutes.”