Fire marshal investigating suspicious fires in Albany
When firefighters arrived at a fire scene on Albany’s Patte Brook Road Saturday night, they found two adjacent camps and their outbuildings burned uniformly flat to the ground.
That circumstance, combined with several others, made the blaze suspicious, said Bethel Fire Chief Mike Jodrey Tuesday.
The fire remains under investigation by the state Fire Marshal’s Office, he said.
At about 9:20 p.m. Saturday the Bethel and Waterford fire departments responded to what was originally reported as a woods fire, Jodrey said.
Waterford Chief Adrien Morin happened to be at a nearby social gathering and was first on the scene, Jodrey said, and he quickly changed the call to a structure fire.
The camps, at least several decades old, were about 40 feet apart, with two of the outbuildings in between.
But Jodrey said the burn patterns don’t match with what would be expected in a fire that spread from one building to another.
In a spreading fire, he said, buildings should be at different stages of burning as the firefighters arrived. But all were already burned flat.
And there was no wind that evening, he said, another sign that flames were unlikely to spread.
In addition, said Jodrey, “There’s no electricity out there,” and the gas appliances in the camps were all turned off.
The camps have one owner, from Massachusetts, who said he had been at the site late in the afternoon “puttering around,” according to Jodrey.
But he did not use any appliances, Jodrey said.
The camps are located about two miles from Route 5.
The fire departments were on the scene until about midnight.