Three-alarm fire destroys unoccupied home

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:50

    Warwick - The call came at about 3 a.m. on June 29. A neighbor of the home on Hoyt Road smelled smoke. Firefighters from the Warwick Fire Department headed to the house, but feared the worst when they saw a car in the driveway. "When a neighbor smells smoke before the occupants of the house, that's not good," said Thom Cronin, a firefighter with the Warwick Fire Department. The family that lived at the house, which was reported by fire officials as 23 Hoyt Road but a police spokesman said it was 25 Hoyt Road, was on vacation at the time of the fire. But the firefighters did not know that when they pulled up to the house and saw flames billowing. "We had to go into the house and make sure no one was inside," Cronin said. "The heat of the fire was so intense. One of the women on the department said she could feel the heat through her gloves when she touched the wall. And you can pick up hot coals with those gloves." The conditions outside were just as bad. It was hot and humid. Heat exhaustion was a real concern for the department. However, no injuries were reported and no animals were inside the house. "It's like putting on your warmest winter clothes in the middle of a heat wave, and then going into a fire," Cronin said. "It was brutal." Firefighters from nearby Florida, Pine Island, Greenwood Lake, Chester, West Milford, McAfee and Johnson helped bring the fire under control. It appeared that the fire started on or near an outside deck. Cronin said the fire is still under investigation. The Warwick Advertiser attempted to contact the family that lived in the house but was unsuccessful.