On Jan. 29, at approximately 8 p.m. the owners of 333 Mead Ln. in Middlebury became aware of a fire in an occupied apartment that is attached to their house and called 911.
The male owner, Brian Bauer, age 65, broke out a window in the area where the fire was observed and discharged a fire extinguisher which momentarily knocked down the fire. The owner attempted to enter the apartment via the main entrance door, but was unable to because of heavy smoke and flame in that area.
Bauer observed the female tenant in the upstairs bedroom window. She was unable to exit the apartment as the exit route was blocked by fire. Bauer got a ladder from the garage and placed it up to the bedroom window and assisted the tenant in getting out of the apartment. The female tenant had cut her hands and feet in an effort to escape and was subsequently treated at the hospital for minor bruises and lacerations.
Middlebury Fire Chief Richard Cole advised when they arrived on scene the apartment was engulfed in flames. Bristol Fire Department assisted with fire suppression efforts while Cornwall Fire Department stood by at the Middlebury Fire Station. Aggressive professional fire suppression efforts kept the main house from being seriously damaged by fire.
The Vermont State Police were contacted to assist with an investigation. Fire Investigators from the Vermont Division of Fire Safety and the Vermont State Police responded to the scene.
The investigation showed the cause of the fire was accidental. The apartment suffered heavy fire and smoke damage and the main house sustained some heat, smoke and water damage. The damage totaled approximately $100,000. The female tenant was treated for minor injuries and subsequently released.