Four displaced after fire damages Chester home

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

A view of the fire from Main Street before firefighters arrived Photo provided

A Sunday morning fire on River Street in Chester severely damaged a house, leaving a family homeless.

Neighbor Larry Reed told The Telegraph that around 10 a.m. he heard an explosion and looked outside to see the second floor porch on the green house next door — at 57 River St. — engulfed in flames.

The Chester Fire Department and Chester Ambulance responded and found the house “fully involved.”

Firefighters begin extinguishing the flames. Photos by Shawn Cunningham unless otherwise indicated.

At first, it was reported that there may have been children trapped in the house, but the tenant, Darian Grover, returning from a trip to the store, was able to confirm that her two daughters — ages 3 and 8 — were not in the building.

Firefighters went to work extinguishing the fire aided by equipment and personnel from Proctorsville, Springfield, Ludlow, Bellows Falls, Rockingham, Grafton and Ascutney. West Weathersfield and Reading covered the Chester station during the fire.

A crew tries to put out the fire in the attic space

Deputy Chief Red MacAllister directed the efforts and told The Telegraph that while the fire had been confined to the second floor, there was “substantial damage” to the structure including smoke and water damage to the first floor, which was unoccupied at the time of the blaze. MacAllister said that fire investigators had been called to look into the cause of the fire.

Grover’s mother, Valerie Holden, said that her daughter was in shock, having lost everything in the fire. Firefighters said that the Red Cross had been called to help make arrangements for Grover, her daughters and Derek Wright, who also lived in the apartment.

In August 2011, the home had been flooded during Tropical Storm Irene and sat empty for several years, Reed said. Several years ago the building was sold and renovated. The Chester tax rolls list Jeffrey and Dale Baldwin of Bellows Falls as the owners.

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  1. Kelly Levy says:

    Hello, I live up the street on High Street we have some 3T/4T girls clothing we can offer if Darian’s 3 year old daughter needs some clothes including a 3T winter coat and I’m sure we have plenty of gloves and hats around for everyone to have one. Let me know if you are interested. Email is: kellymarielevy@gmail.com

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