Fire Destroys Home, Leaves Four Pets Dead [VIDEO]

5 Manitock Hill Road Fire Engulfs Home

Friday morning, a fire at 5 Manitock Hill Road destroyed the home and left four animals dead.

But for the Menghi family, it could have been a lot worse.

Thursday, Marsha Menghi, who owns the house at 5 Manitock Hill Road, went to visit her daughter, Dawn Hawthorne, in Salem. Hawthorne was going to drive Menghi home that night, but decided not to because of the predicted snow.

“I just had this bad feeling,” Hawthorne said. “I couldn’t shake it all night.”

The move may have saved Menghi’s life. At roughly 8:20 a.m., the house caught on fire, and “there was no way” Menghi would have gotten out, Hawthorne said.

As it was, Menghi’s son Louis Menghi was home. His cat’s meow awakened him as the fire broke out, and he managed to escape through the home’s window.

But the cat, two dogs and a bird died in the fire, and two firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting the flames. Also, the home is not insured, Hawthorne said.

“They wouldn’t insure (the home) because it wasn’t up to code,” Hawthorne said. “My brother was working on it to get it updated.”

Fighting The Fire

Fighting the fire proved difficult, said Jordan Fire Chief Tim Sullivan, who coordinated the effort. Manitock Hill Road is a narrow, dirt road, and it was slushy outside so the road was muddy, Sullivan said.

Full-size fire trucks could not get up the road to the house, so they stationed themselves on Fog Plain Road, Sullivan said. Hoses had to be cranked up approximately 600 feet to the house, and only smaller trucks could make it up to the fire, Sullivan said.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries from falling in the slushy conditions, Sullivan said. One hurt his knee, and was sent to the hospital, and the other lost a tooth, and was sent to the dentist, Sullivan said.

After about 45 minutes, the fire was knocked down, and then firefighters began searching the inside of the home for hot spots, Jordan Assistant Deputy Chief Tim Condon said. All five Waterford fire houses responded to the scene, as well as a team from Electric Boat and another from East Lyme, Condon said.

What Now

Menghi lived in the home for about 34 years, Hawthorne said. Menghi and her family were at the scene, crying and hugging each other.

“You just lose all those memories,” Hawthorne said.

The Red Cross was on scene to help the Menghi family. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the fire marshal’s office, Sullivan said.

Robin Miller February 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I am Marsha's other daughter, Robin...I want to thank the brave firefighters as well as everyone that has shown my family love and support. please keep it coming, my mother and brother have lost litterally everything. There are benifits being planned!
ACO Robert Yuchniuk February 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I want to remind everyone that i have firefighter rescue stickers at the shelter at no cost, these can be placed on your door so the firemen know there are pets inside, if god forbid there is ever a fire at your house, this gives your pets an edge at survival. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Menghi family, if i can be of any assistance to you in your time of tragedy, please do not hesitate to contact me. Officer Robert Yuchniuk Waterford East Lyme ACO
Paul Petrone February 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Robin please let Patch know of any benefits so we can publicize them and hopefully increase the support. I am sorry for the terrible fire yesterday, it was just awful.
Allison Glenn February 29, 2012 at 03:56 AM
There is a pasta dinner planned for this Saturday @ the Waterford VFW, 5pm tickets are $10 and another event for the following Saturday March 10th details to follow. That one will include raffle & silent auction items to help raise money for the Menghi family. If anyone has items to donate to the family or raffle items for the fundraiser you can drop them off @ VCA Animal Hospital 122 Cross Rd Waterford. Thanks Officer Yuchniuk, I think I will be swinging by.
michael menghi March 02, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Louis menghi my brother mean's the world to me : thank god for that cat,. ( spliff ) .. dog's [ ottis, bullmastif. rufus, lab. ziggy- bird "" R.I.P. family pet's that will never be forgotten they were loved - missed deeply.." kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless." thank you to the brave fire- fighter's ' as well as everyone that has shown my family love and support." michael menghi .. "Random Acts of Kinds" go's a long way ..thank you


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