Updated: Marlboro house fire leaves two dead


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MARLBORO — Two women were killed in a house fire on Augur Hole Road Monday afternoon.

Marlboro Fire Chief David Elliott said he arrived and the owner, Nancy Milligan, 73, told him her two adult daughters were inside the house. A neighbor had assisted the owner in rescuing pets from the fire and told Elliott he did not see the women inside.

"At that point, there was enough fire that nobody was going to survive it," said Elliott. "At that point, we didn't have enough air packs to get in any way. Since then, we have found two bodies inside."

According to a statement released by the Vermont State Police Arson Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the bodies of Laura Milligan, 41, and Elizabeth Milligan, 46, were later found on the second floor of the home. 

"At this time, the cause of their death is still undetermined and pending an autopsy at the office of the chief medical examiner in Burlington,"  Lt. Daniel Trudeau, of the VSP Criminal Investigations Bureau, wrote in the release.

Although the cause of the fire and its origin have yet to be determined, it does not appear to be suspicious, Trudeau wrote. Damage to the house has rendered it a "total loss."

A joint investigation into the cause of the fire, by the VSP Arson Unit and the state Division of Fire Safety, is ongoing. 

A first alarm went out Monday at about 2:30 p.m. and was upgraded to a second alarm while Elliott was "en route still" with an engine, he said.

"It came in as an electrical fire on the second floor, that everyone was out of the building," Elliott said. "We were on scene fairly quickly. Williamsville was the first arriving engine on scene. We hitched up to them, ran a line off [of] theirs and ours, and did an exterior attack until we got more manpower here."

A nearby pond was used as water supply. Elliott called it a pretty good source.

A metal roof over an asphalt roof was "the biggest problem," he said. There were different layers and crawl spaces with hot spots that firefighters needed to put out.

"The roof and floors on the second floor being compromised made it tough to extinguish," said Elliott.

Fire departments from Marlboro, Williamsville, Wilmington, Halifax, Brattleboro and Whitingham assisted at the scene. Assistance from Red Cross was requested.

Anyone with information about or having had seen the house on fire prior to the Marlboro Fire Department's arrival is encouraged to contact Det. Sgt. Steven Otis at 802-875-2112

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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