Middletown family of 7 displaced by blaze that killed 3 dogs

Photo of Cassandra Day
Five adults, two children and two dogs were displaced from their Higby Road home following a blaze at 4:30 a.m. Saturday in Middletown. Three other family dogs died in the fire, officials said.

Five adults, two children and two dogs were displaced from their Higby Road home following a blaze at 4:30 a.m. Saturday in Middletown. Three other family dogs died in the fire, officials said.

Westfield Fire Department / Contributed photo

MIDDLETOWN — The community is uniting to hold a clothing and toy drive to help a family of seven whose home was destroyed by fire this weekend.

Five adults and two children were able to safely flee the house, situated in the 400 block of Higby Road, however, three of the family’s five dogs died in the blaze, according to Deputy Chief Darrell Ponzio.

The two other two dogs were rescued and treated by fire personnel before being returned to the family, Ponzio said.

A few of the adults suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene, Ponzio said, adding no one was taken to the hospital.

All seven were displaced from their residence, authorities said. The American Red Cross is providing temporary residential assistance and funds for the family’s immediate needs, according to the agency.

Firefighters were called to the house, in the Westfield section of the city, just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday for a “fully involved” structure fire, Ponzio said.

The blaze appeared to have touched off in the garage, Assistant Chief Jason Lubee said Monday.

“It got up into the attic and spread throughout the house,” he said, saying it is now “unlivable.”

Mutual aid was provided by Middletown and Cromwell fire departments, Middlefield Volunteer Fire Co., and Middletown’s South Fire District, Ponzio said.

These crews assisted fire suppression with search, roof-top ventilation, and rapid intervention team support, the news release said. While the bulk of the fire was knocked down by 6 a.m., it took longer to fully extinguish the blaze in the garage and attic areas “due to the construction of the home, and the fire load created by the large amount of personal items stored there,” the news release said.

The health, building and water departments provided assistance, and Eversource was on scene to isolate power to the structure, Ponzio said.

Westfield and state fire marshals are continuing their investigation.

The two children attend Moody Elementary School, where the PTA is organizing a clothing and toy drive to help them recover after “losing everything,” according to a post on the Westfield Fire Department Facebook page.

Donation requests include gift cards to grocery stores or restaurants, children’s games for a first- and fourth-grader, toys and clothing.

Items can be dropped off at the school, 300 Country Club Road, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.