The Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit investigated a fire at 5659 Moretown Mountain Road in Moretown December 22. The fire took place in a garage shop with an apartment on the second floor. The homeowner noticed fire coming from the rear of the garage around 4:50 a.m. and notified the fire department. He went to investigate and found fire coming from the furnace room area of the garage on the first floor. When the fire department arrived, the garage was heavily involved in fire. The fire department was able to contain the fire to the garage. The building was destroyed as well as three cars that were stored inside.
The Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit was called by the Moretown fire chief to determine the area of origin and the cause. The investigation concluded that the fire started in the furnace room where the investigators found evidence that the oil-fired furnace heat exchanger had failed allowing the fire from the oil burner to burn through the back of the furnace and light the back wall on fire.
The fire will be listed as accidental.
The apartment was not occupied at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. Investigators were not able to determine if the apartment had working smoke or carbon monoxide alarms due to the extent of damage to the building.
It is important that all heating appliance be installed, cleaned and maintained by a heating technician who is trained and certified in the type of appliance being installed or serviced.
The Division of Fire Safety recommends that all heating appliance be cleaned, serviced and inspected annually.