7 firefighters sent to hospital during blaze


GUILFORD -- Seven firefighters were hospitalized with injuries they presumably sustained due to a lightning strike while fighting a house fire on East Mountain Road on Wednesday afternoon.

Guilford Volunteer Firefighter Dan Stoughton said at roughly 5 p.m. he did not know how serious the injuries were, but an ambulance was observed leaving the scene shortly before the Reformer arrived. He said the hospitalized firefighters were in the building when they suffered their injuries.

According to a statement from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Rescue Inc. was on the scene doing rehab for the fire. Rescue and other area ambulance services transported all seven fire fighters to BMH Emergency Department. All fire fighters were evaluated by medical personnel and no serious injuries were reported.

Stoughton said six fire departments had been dispatched to battle the two-alarm blaze at the end of a private driveway. He said it took about an hour and a half to get under control and the fire departments were waiting for the heavy rain to stop before resuming their operations safely.

Stoughton believes, but could not confirm, that the fire was caused by a lightning bolt during Wednesday's storm.

Torrential downpour saturated the soil surrounding the house and the dirt road leading up to it. Several firefighters were using a hose to douse the structure with water, while others were using an ax to hack away at the charred remains of the right side of it and get inside.

Some firefighters were situated near their trucks parked near the smoking building, but they were just the beginning of a long line of emergency personnel that stretched down the driveway and onto East Mountain Road, which is just off Bassett Hill Road. The house, in a wooded area of Guilford, is close to the Massachusetts state line.

As firefighters tackled the blaze, emergency personnel were dispatched throughout the county and the tri-state area for flooding and downed power lines as a result of the storm.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


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