On Saturday, July 23 at 1:24 am, Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire, with four people possibly trapped, at 548 Ridgefield Road.

Long after the blaze was retired and the family safe, crews work long hours ensuring the fire is out, securing the site and helping the families.  Then they return to their garages where hoses, uniforms, boots and equipment have to be cleaned and organized in preparation for the next alarm.

Here is an account of the fire from the source, Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Jerry Ouimet. 

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During our response, an update from dispatch confirmed there were four residents on the second floor unable to exit the building.

A second alarm was requested and, shortly after, was upgraded to a third alarm response request. First

officer on scene, chief Jerry Ouimet, arrived at 1:33 am to find a two story residential structure approximately 75% involved in fire on both the first and second floor with fire venting through the roof.

Contact was made with the homeowner and he confirmed that there were actually five family members and they all made it out of the structure safely via a second story balcony.

All five were transported to the hospital by ambulance for evaluation and released a short time later. The family also had two dogs and a cat and at the time of this release, one dog was unaccounted for.

Shelburne Ladder 1 arrived on scene at 1:35 am. Due to the extent of fire, Ladder 1 set up on southeast corner of the structure for defensive fire suppression operations.

South Burlington Engine 2 arrived at 1:37 and set up water supply to Ladder 1.  Burlington Tower 1 arrived shortly after and set up on the southwest corner of the structure to deploy for fire suppression.

Shelburne Engine I set up a second water supply for Tower 1 by deploying a portable pond being fed by a tinker shuttle

operation. Approximately 20 minutes after fire suppression operations began, the roof and second floor of the structure  collapsed onto the first floor.

The residence was currently undergoing some remodeling projects. The garage and living space above the garage were still standing but suffered extensive heat, smoke and water damage.

Salvage operations were able to recover multiple appliances, lawn equipment, and recreational bikes from the garage with little to no damage.

The Vermont State Fire Investigator as well as an investigator from the Vermont State Police did respond to the scene but no cause had been determined at the time of

this release.

Approximately 65 personnel operated at the scene and Shelburne Fire department received assistance either at the scene or with station coverage from South Burlington

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Shelburne Fire Department would also like to thank our

dispatchers for their excellent work throughout this event.

There were no reported fire personnel injuries.

The Shelburne volunteer Fire Department has responded to a number of residential fires this year. We urge all residents to check batteries and properly maintain and test smoke and CO detectors annually and keep properly charged fire extinguishers on each level of the house. We also urge families to develop and practice an escape plan with children and have a designated meeting area outside and away from the house. Fire safety does save lives.