Fire may mean the end of Milford Motel

MILFORD – In 1955, a motel was built in Milford on the road to Wilton, next to Hayward’s Ice Cream.

It was the first of its kind around here and opened to great fanfare, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by town officials.

In recent years, it has looked run down, and now, a fire that left the 12-room motel intact, but damaged the caretaker’s house, might have signaled the business’ demise.

The fire apparently spread from a garage to the attic of the house on the evening of Nov. 6.

No one was hurt, and the caretaker, Michelle Bardas, her husband, their child, two dogs and two cats, have moved into one of the small motel rooms.

“We are devastated,” Bardas said last week and most or all the family’s possessions were damaged by smoke.

Fire officials say the blaze is still under investigation, but they know it started in the garage and could have been caused by an electrical problem.

“The amount of damage” in the garage makes it difficult to tell how it started, said Milford Fire Capt. Jason Smedick.

The call come in at 7:32 p.m. on Nov. 6, and the Bardas’ family was home and left the building after they heard the smoke alarm and called 911.

The fire was under control within a half-hour, Smedick said. Fire trucks from Amherst, Brookline, Mont Vernon and Wilton were turned around because they weren’t needed and Milford firefighters left the scene around 11 p.m.

Bardas said she doesn’t know if the motel will stay open, but the owner, Vic Bass, of Brookline, said he has no insurance and will try to sell the property as is. The business “is dead in the water,” he said, and it won’t be taking anymore guests.

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