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Easton Home Burns in Minutes

Firefighters from Newtown, Stepney, Trumbull, Easton, and more fight massive fire on Judd Road.

The sounds of explosives and fireworks rocked the quiet wooded neighborhood of Easton bordering on Monroe on Friday.  A tall pillar of smoke seen for miles away heralded the fire to many, who followed trucks to the corner of North Street and Judd Road.

Chief of Police James Candee said the owner’s collection of explosives hampered the ability of the firefighters to approach the house and fight the fire. The owner of the house, Sandy Cooper, 507 Judd Road, Easton, was not known to be at the scene, but police officers said that all family members were safe and not in the house.

"It was a beautiful house; huge," said Ted Tallcouch, who was cutting the grass across the street when the Deputy Fire Marshall pulled into the yard, parked, and ran towards the fire. That was when Tallcouch saw the fire.

"The fire started in the center," Tallcouch said, adding the flames quickly spread through all three large sections of the house.

At 7:06, Easton firefighter Paul Skrtich pointed out that the power was being shutdown. He said, "Now that the house is gone we are trying to prevent the surrounding areas from catching fire. We have brush fires on both sides of the house and the back."

Skrtich said that by the time their truck arrived, the house was totally engulfed in flames, the constant sound of fireworks and gunfire-like cracks continuing to fill the air. 

The house was reduced to cinders with only the fireplace left standing in less than 45 minutes. Firefighters from Trumbull, Newtown, Stevenson, Botsford, and more, arrived, and with a shortage of fire hydrants, were seen searching for ponds that could be used to extinguish the massive fire.  

Scott Runkle, a Newtown resident, was dropping his son off in Brushy Hill for prom. Following the explosive sounds of the fireworks and the column of billowing smoke, he made his way to the scene which was already packed with people from many towns.

Martin Ohradan, 15, a freshman and Fire Explorer at Joel Barlow High School was working as a supporter for the fire fighters.  As the house burned to the ground in a matter of minutes, he said, “You never know when something like this can happen."

NewtownPatchster May 19, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I heard the explosions and saw the smoke from my house. We knew it couldn't have been a fireworks factory so assumed it must have been a gas company exploding on 25. Explosions continued for 5-10 minutes. How Many fireworks did they have???
BARBARA May 19, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Great pics
Emits May 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Chief Candee not Candy!
Jim Eastwood May 19, 2012 at 07:15 PM
To All Please thank the Members of the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, the Two Paid members of the Easton Fire Department, Monroe, Newtown, Long Hill and Fairfield Fire Departments for the EXCELLENT Job done on the Judd street fire. The previous pre planning(for water supply and alternate water sources paid off. The Hours and hours of uncompensated training resulted in No Injuries nor any extension of this very difficult and dangerous fire to any surrounding preoperties. So if you see a Fire Fighter during you day, or in the upcoming parades, take the time to say "Thank You" Stay Safe and Sleep well tonight Thanks to these dedicated guys and gals. Respectfully Jim Eastwood
Christine Rose (Editor) May 19, 2012 at 09:37 PM
My apologies! Noted, and won't happen again. Thanks for the heads up. :-)
Lee Salzberg May 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM
I heard the explosions all the way down in the southeast Nichols section of Trumbull and couldn't figure out why anyone was setting off a fireworks display during broad daylight. Watching the 11:00 news told the real story.
Patchfrommonroe May 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I live in Monroe, a short distance from the Judd Rd. Hattertown Rd. intersection. I heard the sounds of explosions for more like 30+ minutes. It was frigentening, I can't imagine that anyone would have that quantity of explosives in a family neighborhood (or any neighborhood for that matter)! That person was irresponsible, it is a terrible shame that they lost their home, but there is an important lesson to be learned here, especially before the 4th of July. A big thank you to the fire fighters yesterday and every day for being ready at the drop of a dime to keep everyone safe.
Izzy Coherent May 21, 2012 at 08:14 PM
So, ya think their "Home Owners" will cover the claim? ;)
Mike May 23, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I know the people who lived there. All I will say is they are the sweetest people you will ever meet. There are no finer people on the face of the earth.
Mary Jaeger July 19, 2012 at 10:50 PM
My husband and I also know them, and Mike you are right, they are the sweetest people you will ever meet. Unfortunately for them they had to lose their house and possibly face charges also.

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