The caller advised the 911 dispatcher that smoke and flames were issuing from the vicinity of the home's basement. The first Stratford Fire unit arrived at the scene at 12:27 a.m., according to a press release, and Assistant Chief John Conway, the shift commander, reported smoke coming from the front porch. Conway reported that the fire was confined to the front porch and no injuries to civilians or firefighters occurred.
Further investigation by the fire marshal’s office indicated that an unidentified passerby witnessed the fire, called 911 and banged on the front door to arouse any occupants sleeping, according to the release.
The owner of the home, Paul R. McLaughlin Jr. was asleep with his spouse on the second floor while his son was asleep on the first floor couch after arriving home from work earlier in the evening. The son was awakened by the passerby banging on the door and awakened his parents sleeping on the second floor, according to the press release.
Deputy Fire Marshal Lieutenant Roy Minton reported that the son, smelled smoke earlier in the evening and didn't find a source and did not notify fire authorities at that time.
A total of 19 fire personnel responded to the incident. The fire damage was confined to the exterior porch, and the home was re-inhabited by the McLaughlin family after the departure of firefighters. The last fire unit departed the fire scene at 1:48 a.m.
The Stratford Fire Department would like to
remind all town residents to be vigilant in replacing smoke detector
batteries semi-annually, and to replace old smoke detectors after 10
years of service or based on the manufacturer’s replacement
recommendations, to ensure the desired protection these lifesaving
devices are designed to provide.