Weekend fire destroys Chelsea home

Published: 02-26-2024 6:03 PM

CHELSEA — Vermont State Police are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a single-family home on Saturday. 

Chelsea Fire Chief John Champney said the fire department arrived on scene around 2:15 p.m. Firefighters worked through the afternoon and into the evening to control a blaze that overtook a two-story house at 31 Route 113 near Chelsea village. 

In an interview on Monday, Champney said there are many facts about the incident that appear suspicious, though he was unable to discuss the details of the active investigation. 

Fire crews from Tunbridge, Vershire, Williamstown, Vt., and Washington, Vt., also responded to the call. 

At the scene, firefighters were allegedly told by the property owner, Timothy Blondin, that an occupant was possibly still in the house, according to Champney. 

This led to the firefighters working more deliberately when extinguishing or removing structural barricades. However, fire crews learned hours later that the identified occupant had escaped the home prior to the firefighters’ arrival.

Suppressing the fire was challenging because the home was built on an embankment that limited the firefighters’ access to the structure, Champney said. 

Crews were able to get the fire under control by around 8:30 p.m. 

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According to property records, the home is owned by the family of William Blondin Sr., who died in 2021 at the age of 80.

Attempts to reach family members on Monday were unsuccessful.