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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Homeowner sparks blaze

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— A blaze tore through a Red Root Lane home late Tuesday morning, displacing the owner and leaving the house in “seriously bad shape,” fire officials said.
The fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. while the homeowner was soldering pipes in his bathroom. Flames from the soldering process “got away from him,” sparking the blaze, said Fire Capt. Michael McDaniel.
The two-story, colonial-style home on 176 Red Root Lane is owned by Victor J. Sekelsky Jr., according to city land records. McDaniel said the homeowner is the only occupant and was home alone when the fire started. He escaped with no injuries.
The Milford chapter of the Red Cross is offering emergency assistance to the homeowner, a spokeswoman for the organization said. The Red Cross is contacted by fire departments to offer temporary lodging and emergency clothing and food to those displaced by fires.
Firefighters hit a snag when they arrived at the scene. There was only one hydrant on the street, and that was about 2,800 feet away.
Firefighters ran hose through three “pumper trucks” from the hydrant to the house. McDaniel said they have state-of-the-art equipment and had no problems with pressure, but setting up the hose caused an initial delay.
He said when a hydrant is so far away, “it takes us a little longer to get started, but with our equipment it’s like taking the hydrant with you.”
“We would definitely like to see at least one more hydrant added to that street,” he added. The Fire Department’s goal is to have one hydrant every 500 feet, and McDaniel said the department has made great strides toward accomplishing that, but “it takes money and it takes time.”
Firefighters cleared the scene at about 2:30 p.m.