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."