• Fire chief: Luck helps save burning Barre Town house
     | March 17,2012

    BARRE TOWN — An open window, a closed door and an alert passerby all played an important role in helping volunteer firefighters save a house on Graniteville Road this week.

    According to Fire Chief Chris Violette, if the window to the second-floor bedroom of the home owned by David Lafleche hadn’t been open Wednesday morning, the light white smoke coming out of it shortly before 8 a.m. wouldn’t have caught the eye of a passerby who promptly dialed 911.

    What’s more, Violette said, if the door to the bedroom hadn’t been closed at the time, the fire would likely have spread to other areas of the home long before he arrived four minutes after the call was placed.

    “We really were fortunate,” said Violette. “If that passerby hadn’t seen the smoke and called it would have been a very different story.”

    Instead, Violette, who was driving up Quarry Hill when the call came in, said firefighters were able to limit the damage.

    “We were able to knock (the fire) down pretty quick,” he said.

    According to Violette, damage was largely contained to one gutted bedroom, though there was heat and smoke damage throughout the second floor of the two-story, wood-framed house, as well as some first-floor water damage.

    Violette said the fire appeared to have started behind a bedroom bureau, but the cause, while not suspicious, was undetermined. He said Lafleche and his family had left the house about 30 minutes before firefighters were summoned.

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