- Courtesy photo by Donna Walton
A close-up of the barn section of 80 Maple St. shows heavy fire coming from the roof area in the first minutes of Sunday evening's three-alarm fire. One person reportedly died in the fire, which a witness said was preceded by two loud explosions.
- Courtesy photo by Jim Cavanaugh
Flames roar from a large section of the home at 80 Maple St. shortly after Sunday afternoon's three-alarm fire started. Sources say one person died in the fire.
- Courtesy photo by Donna Walton
Heavy fire comes from the roof and windows in the first minutes of Sunday evening's three-alarm fire at 80 Maple St. One person reportedly died in the fire, which a witness said was preceded by two loud explosions.
- Photo by Kathy Cleveland
Two firefighters take a brief breather while battling the three-alarm fire on Maple Street in Wilton Sunday that reportedly claimed one life.
Sources: One dead in Wilton fire
WILTON – One person died in a three-alarm fire that swept through a large home and barn at 80 Maple St. on Sunday evening, according to sources with knowledge of the incident.
The sources didn’t specify whether the victim was male or female, or whether he or she lives at the home. There was also an unconfirmed report that a second person was transported to the hospital with burns, the severity of which was not known.
Property records list the owner of the home as Donna D. Crane. There’s no official word whether Crane is also a resident of the home, or if so, whether she was home when the fire broke out. It wasn’t immediately known how many people live in the house.
One witness who requested anonymity said two loud explosions were heard just before the fire was reported. The witness said they sounded like propane tanks exploding.
Crews from several communities converged on the home, a structure from 1868 on the north side of Maple Street about halfway between Russell and Putnam streets.
Sarah Childress, 17, who lives farther down Maple Street, said she went out after hearing sirens and saw the house ablaze.
“Firefighters were breaking windows trying to get in,” she said. “The smoke was intense. I saw a lot of flames too, some as high as 15 feet from the roof.”
Childress said fire was coming from the barn as well. “The entire top of the barn was in intense flame,” she said, adding that a portion of the barn roof eventually collapsed.
Mike Cleveland, reporter and editor for The Cabinet and Telegraph, said police closed Maple and Putnam streets as well as Main Street from Town Hall to Pine Valley Street. He said fire trucks lay hose lines across Main Street, pumping water from hydrants up the hill to the fire.
Crews from Milford, Lyndeborough, Amherst, Mont Vernon and Greenville assisted Wilton firefighters at the scene and with station coverage.
Cleveland said about 30 neighbors and passersby gathered across the street to watch.
At its height, the fire was visible from Route 101, one witness told Cleveland.
Two Wilton-Lyndeborough-Temple Ambulance Service rigs stood by at the scene.
Around 8 p.m., two hours after the fire broke out, some firefighters began packing up equipment while others continued to check for hot spots around the building.
Fire Chief Raymond Dick was still busy at the scene around 8 p.m. and not yet available for official comment.
Confirmations and additional updates will be posted as they are received.
Mike Cleveland contributed material to this story. Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.