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Fire Blamed on Stove Destroys Orange Home

Firefighters respond to a house fire in Orange last night that destroyed a family’s home. One woman was treated for smoke inhalation. (Valley News - Libby March)

Firefighters respond to a house fire in Orange last night that destroyed a family’s home. One woman was treated for smoke inhalation. (Valley News - Libby March) Purchase photo reprints »

Orange — A trailer home was destroyed by a fast moving fire off Cross Road last night, and authorities say a pellet stove is likely to blame.

The owners of a double-wide with an addition on Private Lane left for a walk last night, and thought they had shut their pellet stove off before heading out, Canaan Fire Chief Bill Bellion said. But when they returned around 6 p.m., heavy smoke was billowing inside.

A female resident was treated for smoke inhalation but did not suffer serious injury, Bellion said.

When firefighters began mobilizing, they thought it might be a relatively small problem — Bellion said he initially checked to see if anyone in Orange had received a permit to burn brush last night. And, when the first firefighter arrived, he saw only smoke coming from the home.

But within moments, flames shot through the front of the home, and most of the structure was engulfed. The front of the house was completely charred.

“Between the time we got the call and started heading down Route 4, it blew out — it was fully engulfed,” Bellion said. “If it’s closed up enough, the air will heat inside and it will ignite and burn quickly.”

Firefighters brought the fire under control within an hour, but the damage was severe, rendering the home uninhabitable. The home had working smoke detectors, Bellion said.

There is no Orange Fire Department — the Canaan Fire Department has a contract to handle all fires in the town of a few hundred residents.

The homeowners could not be reached for comment. The fire is not considered suspicious, Bellion said. Firefighters from Enfield and Grafton assisted at the scene. The home is about a half mile up Cross Road, off Route 4.

Mark Davis can be reached at mcdavis@vnews.com or 603-727-3304.