Fire damages Cavendish home that was harmed during Irene

UPDATE: A GoFundMe page has been set up for homeowners Martha and Mitchell Benoit. Click here to donate.

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Flames can be seen at the back of the house as firefighters try to knock them down. Click photo to launch gallery. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

A fire that started in an attached garage heavily damaged a home on Rt. 131 east of Cavendish Village this afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., Proctorsville and Cavendish firefighters were called to the Benoit residence at 834 Rt. 131 for a fully involved fire in a garage that was attached to the home.

Homeowner Mitchell Benoit said he was watching television when he smelled smoke and went to investigate. He found the garage on fire and pulled his tractor and generator out of the structure before they could be damaged. In the process, he injured one hand on a nail and burned the other.

Ascutney’s ladder truck arrives on the scene

The fire spread from the garage to the back of the house where flames could be seen several feet above the structure. Firefighters soaked the garage and worked to douse the fire from both inside the house and outside.

Town Manager Brendan McNamara was on hand monitoring the use of municipal water to be sure that there would be enough to fight the fire and provide service to the town. McNamara said he was getting the well pumps going to keep the towns two storage tanks from emptying.

The ladder truck concentrates a great deal of water on the back of the house

Asked if the home was insured, Benoit said it was but added “you never really know until the check is in your hand.”

According to McNamara, the Benoit property was one of those damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

“We were flooded out and now we’re being burned out,” Benoit said.

In addition to the two nearby departments, Ludlow Ambulance, Reading, Ludlow, West Weathersfield, Ascutney, Chester, Springfield and Plymouth fire departments also responded.

There was no word on any other injuries at 2 p.m.

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