What Caused Tuesday’s House Fire On Hemlock Hill?

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Mar 042015

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 2.42.27 PMThe Orange Volunteer Fire Department has been very busy lately and the snowy conditions don’t necessarily make things easy.

On Tuesday, March 3, a teenager was home alone with the family dog when he detected a fire in a bedroom and called 911 at around 5:15 p.m.

When the OVFD arrived, the fire had extended into a good portion of the home and flames were coming out from the rear of the house.

The boy and dog escaped to safety.

The Derby Fire Department assisted at the scene, and the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department stood by at the firehouse and covered the town while Orange fought the fire.

Fire Marshal Tim Smith said the house sustained very little structural damage, minimal water damage, but heavy smoke and heat damage.

Smith said no one was hurt, but the family will be displaced for a while.

After his preliminary investigation, Smith said the incident appears to have been accidental and it was possibly an electrical fire.

Orange Firefighters Respond to Late Night Garage Fire

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Oct 282014

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 10.53.56 PMFirefighters were on the scene of a garage/house fire for about 2 hours late last night into the early morning.
Note: This was heard on the scanner — (I tried to go to the scene but my new glasses didn’t come in yet and I couldn’t find the place.) I will seek out more information today.
At 10:51 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a residential fire on Golf Road — on the outskirts of town near the Great River Golf Course.
According to the dispatch the homeowner reported a fire in an attached garage. While Orange Firefighters were en route, a Milford Fire Engine called in to say it also was responding (The Milford firehouse is geographically closer than Oranges).
The first Orange units on the scene reported that the garage was fully engulfed in flames and requested a second tone for additional personnel and equipment.
The nearest fire hydrant was a block away on Fairway Road.
After extinguishing the flames, the chief called for the fire marshal.
Around 1 a.m. many firefighters had left the scene, but chief Knight and fire marshal Tim Smith didn’t leave until 6:10 a.m. Tuesday.
This is the home as it appears on the Trulia Real Estate site. note the 3 car garage at the bottom on the far end.

This is the home as it appears on the Trulia Real Estate site. note the 3 car garage at the bottom on the far end.


Tuesday Was A Busy Day For The Volunteer Firefighters

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Apr 162014

Rescue 1 outside of Station 2

Rescue 1 outside of Station 2

If you follow our Facebook page you know that you can see things that are happening in town in real time, such as fire calls.

For example, this is what you would have seen yesterday:

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department had a busy day on Tuesday.

At 12:42 p.m. they were called to a home on Deer Run Lane for a fire in a home.

Soon after they left the scene at 1:29 p.m. they responded to a truck fire on Racebrook Road near Crowfoot.

They left the truck fire around 1:53 p.m.

At 9:25 p.m. they had a call at Springbrook Commons on Indian River Road for activated fire alarms in two units.

First Responders also reported that a burglar alarm also was going off.

As the final units were arriving, they received a call at 9:34 p.m. and some of the firefighters went from Springbrook to Route 34 near the Parkway overpass on a report of smoke coming from the engine compartment of a UNH shuttle bus.

Firefighters left Springbrook at 9:50 p.m., but at least one firefighter had to stay there on fire watch.

Shortly after 10 p.m. they left Route 34 and the UNH bus had to be towed away.

January 21 — Two House Fires in Two Consecutive Years

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Jan 222014

Rescue 1 outside of Station 2

Rescue 1 outside of Station 2

It’s a strange coincidence, I’m sure, but a quick search on Orange Live (it took 2 seconds) and I discovered that yesterday’s house fire at 4 p.m. on Sunset Drive fell on the same date as a much worse fire that occurred at 1 a.m. on Hawthorne Lane.on Jan. 21, 2013.

The fire on Sunset started in, and was contained to the kitchen area. Firefighters were able to extinguish it quickly, within 15-20 minutes of arrival, and no one was hurt.

The Hawthorne Lane fire likely began in a wood-fired boiler. The firefight went on for more than an hour.

The family fled to safety before firefighters arrived and no one was hurt, but the family did lose everything.

I certainly hope that these two 1-21 house fires are the end of the line for incidents on this date. No matter how minor the damage, house fires are terrifying and leave a long, lasting impression on the homeowners (and firefighters).


Lightening Strike Responsible for Early Morning House Fire

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May 222013

A house fire is a homeowners' nightmare, replacing the roof, is all part of the recovery process.

A house fire is a homeowners’ nightmare, replacing the roof, is just part of the recovery process.

If the wild thunderstorms that rolled through this morning didn’t wake you up, then you’re one of the few in town who slept through it.

The wall-shaking thunder and bullwhip cracks of lightening spelled trouble and Orange Volunteer Firefighters were just waiting for a call.

The first one came just after 7 a.m. when a resident on Pine Tree Drive called 911 to report smoke in the house. They exited the home and waited for firefighters to arrive.

In 4 minutes or less Asst. Chief John Knight was there, located a fire in the attic and called for a second alarm requesting additional firefighters and equipment.

The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes and Fire Marshal Tim Smith began his investigation.

“It appears that lightening struck a vent fan in the roof,” Smith said. “There was moderate fire damage in the attic and minor water damage in the house.”

There were no injuries reported.

Shortly after all fire apparatus had returned to their stations, a second call came in from Narrow Lane of another possible lightening strike with the odor of burning electrical wires.

Firefighters were on the scene for about 20 minutes then released. The investigation still continues.

Boys Hockey: East Haven Edges Amity 5-4 on Thursday; Amity Now 9-3

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Feb 022013

The Spartans were fired up for Thursday night’s game

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Amity Boys Hockey Team took on the Yellow Jackets from East Haven at the Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven.

Both sides showed plenty of spirit and drive from the moment they skated onto the ice. The game was scoreless until 1:50 in the second period when the Easties Mike Falanga, assisted by Matt Longobardi and Nick Latella slapped in the first goal.

Amity quickly answered with two of their own, the first an unassisted goal by Keating Seymour at 3:11; soon followed by Adam Shea, assisted by Brett McNeil and Zach Shelnitz at 4:38.

Not to be outdone in the second period, The Easties Tristan Goodwin assisted by Longobardi, tied up the score 2-2 at 13:59.

Both teams came out for the third period on fire, Amity’s Dane Simone, assisted by Seymour brought the Spartans up one at 2:36; then rocketed his team ahead 4-2 at 5:54, assisted by Patch Flynn and Seymour.

A little more than 2 minutes later Longobardi, assisted by Marty Lendroth and Cory Smith, scored again for the Easties at 8:00 and moments later he tied the game 4-4 assisted by Joe DiAlbero at 9:28.

In the 4th period overtime it was anyone’s game, and obvious that both teams were hungry for the win. The goalies worked hard and the puck went from one end of the rink to the other but it was Longobardi, again assisted by DiAlbero who got one into the net at 3:04.

Final Score 5-4.

Afterward, Coach Gary Lindgren said, “It was a great game, well played, we wanted it bad, the kids worked hard and you can’t ask for more than that. My goalie Nick Nuzzolo played outstanding and I give East Haven a lot of credit — they played late last night and lost, they came back hard and they gave us a great game.

“We had our chances to put them away in the third period, Dane Simone scored two nice goals and we were looking to close them out and this is the first time a team has come back to beat us,” he said. “It’s a heartbreaker, but it’s ok. We win together, we lose together. The kids played hard tonight.”

Amity is now 9-3 for the season and it’s their first loss in Division 1 — to this point they were undefeated 4-0 in the division.

“Losing in overtime — it hurts, but we take a lot with us from this game. The kids showed a lot of character and composure, they hung tough. Both goalies played well. It was a nice game,” Lindgren said.

This was a tight game, nearly blow for blow with both teams making 34 shots each.

Amity’s Goalie Nick Nuzzolo had 29 saves and the Easties’ Zak Bouve’ had 30.

Records Amity 9-3; East Haven 7-4-1

Amity is off to Enfield to play tri-town at the Enfield Twin Rinks Saturday night at 6:10 p.m.


On Thursday, Feb. 7 the Amity boys hockey team will host a fund-raising game against Cheshire to support the Martino family from Orange who lost their house and all of their belongings in a fire on Jan.21.

The parents, Eddie and Kellie, are Amity graduates and their children, Eddie, 11, Emily, 13 and Mary-Kate, 15, all are in the Amity school system.  Mary-Kate is on the Amity Girls Hockey Team.

Raffle tickets will be sold in advance and the winner need not be present.

Tickets are $5 each or $20 for five. Donations also may be made. Checks should be made out to the Amity Hockey Parent’s Association and be sent to Amity High School 25 Newton Rd., Woodbridge, Ct. 06525 attn: Hockey Parent’s Association.

All proceeds will be going to the Martino family to help rebuild their lives.

For more information contact Gary Lindgren at Gary.Lindgren@reg5.k12.ct.us.

UPDATE: Collection Drive For Monday’s House Fire Victims

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Jan 212013

The Martino’s home illuminated under lights from the fire trucks at 2:15 a.m. Jan. 21.

Carla Appel has been through two house fires in her lifetime, most will remember when she and her family lost everything in a blaze on Dec. 27, 2008, but her first horrifying experience was when she was just 4-years old and her father put her on his chest and slid under the flames as a dryer fire consumed their home on Ann Rose Drive.

She knows what it’s like to flee a house fire on a frigid night with no shoes on your feet, grateful to be able to look around and see that your entire family made it out as neighbors rush to your side with blankets and coats to keep you warm.

With the fourth anniversary of the latest fire behind her she remembers the kindness of neighbors and complete strangers who rallied to bring some normalcy back to her family’s lives back then. So when she heard about the Martino Family losing everything in a house fire on Hawthorne Lane early this morning, she knew she had to do something to help.

Appel is working on organizing a collection drive for the Martino family, seeking gift cards from Kohl’s, Target, Grocery stores, CVS, etc that will help them replace some of the things they lost this morning.

The family consists of the parents, a fifth grade boy and A 13 year old daughter and a 15 year old daughter, who will need clothing, shoes, etc as they work to put their lives back together.

Gift cards are so helpful, because they can use them to pick up the things you can’t take from your own belongings, like undergarments, toiletries and makeup.

UPDATE: Aileen DeFeo has graciously offered the use of the conference room at Coldwell Banker, 564 Racebrook Road as a drop off point for anyone who would like to donate gift cards for the Martino family, Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 4-7 p.m. or any other day this week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appel learned from mom, Kelli Martino, a teacher at Race Brook School, that the gift cards would be greatly appreciated — the family lost everything — Mary Kate plays Hockey at Amity and she and her sister both play Lacrosse, so gift cards from Ferguson’s and Whitey Benson’s could help.

Other suggestions are DSW, TJ MAXX, Marshall’s, Home Goods, American Eagle, Dick’s Sporting Goods, American Express or Visa gift cards.

Toiletries, bags of socks etc.

Kelli said she would appreciate it if anyone who is uncertain about these things could send a gift in their name to help Holy Infant Church.

If you have any questions regarding the most needed items for a displaced family, or to share ideas, call Carla at 203-214-2652.

Orange Volunteer Fire Department Ends Busy Week With Two Fires On Sunday

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Nov 052012

Orange Volunteer Firefighters wait for further orders outside the home on Karen Drive on Nov. 4.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department (Yes, they are volunteers) had a very busy week. Responding to nearly100 calls since Hurricane Sandy began.

On Sunday evening at a little after 10 p.m. 25-30 firefighters left their homes and families once again — after some of them just recently had their power restored —to go out and help someone else.

This time it was a “possible chimney fire” on Karen Drive off Orange Center Road.

The first fire officer to arrive reported that there might be a fire inside the wall and requested a thermal imaging camera. When Chief Charlie Gagel arrived moments later, he confirmed there was a structure fire and requested a second tone.

Within minutes firefighters and fire engines began to arrive.

Once the fire was extinguished, the firefighters metered the house for carbon monoxide levels.

Afterward, as the firefighters packed up their equipment, Gagel explained the situation to Orange Live.

He said the family had a fire burning in the fireplace since about 5 p.m. (5 hours) and noticed smoke coming out of a cabinet that was built onto the side of the fireplace and called the fire department.

“When we arrived, we determined that the fire was in the wall by the fireplace, undetected, so we had to remove the surroundings at the fireplace and expose where the structure was burning and extinguish the fire,” he said. “The Fire Marshal is investigating the fire.”

Brush Fire

Around 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the fire department was called to a brush fire on Derby Milford Road near the old railroad trestle (and the cemetery).

Gagel said there were multiple brush fires going on simultaneously, 1 in Orange and 2 in Derby.

“The fire came in close proximity to two residences on either side of the treacle. We responded with four pieces of apparatus and used two of those for water shuttle back and forth to the hydrant on Wheelers Farm Road, and supplying the original two trucks with water to put the fire out,” Gagel said.

After nearly an hour the Orange firefighters cleared the scene and returned to the stations. Derby and Orange police cars that had blocked off each end of the road to traffic, also left the location around 3:15 p.m.

The OVFD has been busy indeed, and many residents have expressed their gratitude for them to Orange Live during the latest crisis.