Bennington Banner (VT)

October 3, 2001

Shaftsbury house destroyed

SHAFTSBURY -- Fire destroyed a Shaftsbury man's home early Tuesday morning.

Nobody was hurt in the blaze, but the home was a total loss.

The call came in at about 1:30 a.m. for a house on fire at 391 Rollin Road, according to Shaftsbury Fire Chief Joseph Vadakin.

When the first firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring from the house. Smoke covered nearby fields as firefighters from Bennington village and rural departments as well as Arlington and North Hoosick raced to the scene

Anthony Siefert lived in the red, two-story home on top of a grassy knoll, just to the south of Rollin Road. Siefert came home from work in the early morning hour to discover the fire and went to a neighbor's house to call the fire department.

When firefighters tried to enter the house to fight the fire, they discovered the floor had been burned out. The fire started in the basement and shot up through both the first and second floors. They were not able to attack the fire from inside and had to go on the defensive, Vadakin said. Between 30 and 40 firefighters fought the fire.

As part the firefighters' overhaul work - making sure all the hot spots were out - a bulldozer was brought in from Burgess Brothers to help pull the collapsed house out of the cellar, Vadakin said. About a third of the house, the east end, remained standing on Tuesday, filled with a charred and soot-covered pool table and weight bench. The remainder of the house was in a large pile of rubble, pulled off towards the west end of the basement.

The fire is not considered suspicious. Because of the amount of destruction, the cause will probably never been known.

The last firefighters left the fire scene at 6:30 a.m., and Pownal and Manchester firefighters manned Shaftsbury's two fire stations while they were fighting the fire.

The house was for sale at the time of the fire. The owner had insurance.

(c) 2001 Bennington Banner. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.