Dehumidifier blamed for early morning house fire

A basement dehumidifier appears to have been the cause of an early morning fire Monday on Bittersweet Lane.

According to Long Hill Chief Alex Rauso, the department responded to a fire in a home at 1:43 a.m. The occupants had been awakened by the home’s smoke detectors.

The first arriving firefighters found a fire in the basement, which was quickly extinguished. The fire did not spread to other parts of the house.

No firefighters were injured in the incident, although one resident was taken to the hospital for observation. A total of eight trucks responded, including two rescue vehicles. Trumbull Center, Nichols, and Stepney fire departments provided mutual aid, while Shelton fire companies provided standby coverage in town.

According to Rauso, this is the second fire in two days that appeared to have been caused by a dehumidifier. The presence of smoke detectors once again made a critical difference, he said. Residents who do not have working smoke detectors in their house should install them immediately, he said.

“Had the residents not had working smoke detectors, the outcome to the fire may have been tragic,” he said. “Smoke detectors save lives.”

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