New England Newspapers
POWNAL, Vt. -- A dog and a cat died in a structure fire caused by a melted candle Monday afternoon on Jackson Cross Road, according to firefighters.
Pownal Valley Fire Department Chief Joel Howard said he was the first person to arrive on the scene and called out for the animals, but by then it was too late. He said the flames were under control within minutes of firefighters’ arrival, but the small building suffered extensive damage and was left uninhabitable.
Howard said the property at 1005 Jackson Cross Road is owned by Henry Strohmaier, who rented it out to Dylan Chatterton and Dericka Southgate.
Howard said the cause of the fire is believed to be a candle left on a furnace which turned on automatically with the recent drop in temperature. He said the melted wax went between the wall and furnace and caused the fire. The candle was not lit.
The Pownal Valley Fire Department, Pownal Fire Department and Bennington Village Fire Departments were on scene while the Bennington Rural Fire Department provided support. The Bennington Rescue Squad was also on scene.
Howard said the Red Cross has stepped in to help the apartment’s occupants with clothing.