NORTH HERO, Vt. (WCAX) One house is a total loss and another is unsalvageable after heavy winds spread a fire in a North Hero neighborhood.
Courtesy: Dave Sheltus
Fire officials say the fire started at a home on Holiday Point Road around 1:30 Saturday morning. They say the wind then pushed the fire to trees, a shed, and the house next door. No one was inside the first home but the owners of the second home were woken up by the flames. Dilys Match says she, her husband and her brother all got out safely but had to rush to beat the flames.
“We barely had time to grab the keys to the car, get the cars out of here with us in them, and warn neighbors down the road that fire was coming,” said Match.
Match told WCAX News the family next door was out of town at the time of the fire. She said the flames consumed their house so quickly, she doesn’t think they would have gotten out in time had they been home.
According to Match, the flames got as high as 30 to 40 feet and jumped over trees before reaching her house. Now there’s nothing but a shell of what used to be her family’s summer home where they have been vacationing for 60 years.
She and her daughter, Courtney Poquette, say they will start rebuilding in Spring 2020 but some things are gone forever.
“There’s a lot of memories that you can’t replace from the original structure so that makes it challenging,” said Poquette.
Match says family pictures and her grandparents’ belongings are some of the items lost in the fire.
Despite all of the loss, Match and Poquette are thankful the fire happened when majority of the neighbors were home to alert authorities and each other of the fire.
“These are summer vacation homes. If this had happened during the week when nobody was here or if it had happened during the winter or an offseason, this whole end could’ve been gone,” said Poquette.
Match and Poquette are appreciative of the work all six responding fire crews did to contain the flames.
“You couldn’t have stopped it if they hadn’t gotten here,” Match said. “They did everything they could. They had trucks on this property, trucks there, and they were doing everything that they could to prevent it from going farther.”
Five of the crews were from Grand Isle County and one was from Swanton.
We’re told a downed tree in one of the roadways made it difficult for some of the crews to get to the scene.
WCAX News asked to speak with the family whose house is a total loss and they declined comment.