CT Sandy Hook Fire Damage | Fairfield Protection Lightning

A house fire, which apparently was caused by a lightning strike, resulted in an estimated $30,000 of damage to a large new home in the Tilson Woods residential subdivision in Sandy Hook on Tuesday evening.

Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company Chief Bill Halstead said that a lightning strike on June 20 apparently caused the fire at 3 Charles Circle, which is the residence of John and Marilyn Swane.

Chief Halstead said that lightning may have struck a tree nearby and traveled into the house, eventually creating an electrical fire in the basement of the structure.

No one was home at the time of the incident. There were no injuries, Chief Halstead said.

At 8:12 pm, firefighters from Sandy Hook, Newtown Hook & Ladder, and Hawleyville were dispatched to the emergency. A total of nine fire trucks were dispatched, of which seven were sent to the scene. About 50 firefighters went to the Charles Circle fire. Charles Circle is a dead-end street extending from Pearl Street, near Treadwell Park.

After having received a report of an activated burglar alarm at the home, police responded to the scene and spotted smoke inside the building, Chief Halstead said. Police then called firefighters. Lightning strikes often trigger alarms.

Chief Halstead, who is the town fire marshal, said he suspects that lightning struck an area near the house when a thunderstorm had passed through the area somewhat earlier in the evening.

The fire damaged the ceiling area of the basement, which holds the joists that support the planking for the house’s first floor, the fire chief said. The fire also damaged electrical wiring, he said.

The blaze, which firefighters contained quickly, caused moderate smoke damage to the house’s first and second stories, Chief Halstead said. The blaze generated light gray smoke.

Firefighters used the water carried on fire trucks to extinguish the blaze, Chief Halstead said. Although there are fire hydrants in the area, relatively little water was needed to put out the fire, he said.

The structure is insured. Firefighters stayed at the scene until about 10:30 pm, organizing their equipment and doing some general cleanup work.

Pearl Street links Washington Avenue to Philo Curtis Road. Developer Charles Tilson received town approvals in 2000 to develop then-wooded site. Houses have been built on most of the building lots within the 40-lot development during the past several years.

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