Fire guts Milford home; owner, dogs escape safely

MILFORD – A woman and her two dogs escaped a fast moving fire that gutted a house here late Monday afternoon.

The fire, at 61 Highland Avenue, appears to have started in the front porch, said the homeowner, Madeline Martin.

Martin said she was making iced coffee in the kitchen of the one-story house around 4 p.m. when she heard a very loud popping noise and went to the porch at the other end of the house and saw flames 3- or 4-feet high.

Martin said she ran down the stairs to the cellar to get the dogs and brought them outside to the yard and called 911.

Milford Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Carter said the house was fully involved when firefighters arrived, but they had it knocked down within 15 minutes.

By 5:30 p.m., Carter was beginning to send some of the crews back to the station.

The narrow dead-end street made access difficult, he said.

Milford, Amherst and Brookline fire departments were at the scene, and Wilton and Mont Vernon departments covered the Milford station.

Martin said she and her husband, Denis , bought the house, which dates from the early 20th century, 17 years ago and she and her father restored it and they lovingly refer to it as “the bungalow.”

“It was just beautiful … filled with memories,” she said.

Martin said she was impressed by the work of the firefighters.

The day was swelteringly hot, and the American Red Cross was called to provide cold water and possible assistance to the homeowner, but she said she would stay with one of her two sons who live in the area.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@