KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- The cause of a fire that damaged the second floor of a residence on Carpenter Hill Road Monday afternoon was likely electrical in nature, according to firefighters.
Bennington Rural Fire Department Chief Joseph Hayes said the fire at 293 Carpenter Hill Road, which was reported five minutes after noon, started at either a wall socket or from an extension cord plugged into the socket. Hayes said the fire was confined to an upstairs bedroom and was under control within 20 minutes.
Cat found, safe
Hayes said no one was injured and a pet cat belonging to the couple that rents the home was found outside, safe and sound.
The home is owned by Albert Brissette, who rents it to Kevin Mattison, a member of the BRFD. No one was home at the time of the fire.
Brissette said the building was built in 1857 and has been in his family on his late wife's side since 1931. Brissette, who also lives next door, reported the fire when he noticed smoke coming from the building. "I thought it was the chimney," he said.
Brissette said he noticed flames and smoke coming out the upper bedroom window before he called the fire department.
Hayes said the building is currently without power, but once it is restored the home can be occupied. Hayes said his department, the North Bennington Fire Department, Bennington Fire Department, and a water supply truck from the Pownal Fire Protective Association responded to the scene, as did the Bennington Rescue Squad. Bennington Police also responded.