No Working Smoke Alarms At Sugarbush Condos

By Staci DaSilva |

Published 02/17 2014 06:32PM

Updated 02/17 2014 08:03PM


Dozens of condos at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, VT are destroyed after an early morning fire.

Many people are left with just the clothes on their backs.

The fire started at 1:30 Monday morning. There were no working smoke alarms.

For some, it was pets that woke them up. “I was told that a lot of dog barking woke people up,” said Candice White, VP of Marketing & Communications at Sugarbush Resort.

For others, it was the men and women in uniform: “About 3am we were woken up to banging on the door and it was the Fire Department. And so we were evacuating at that point,” said Alex Hicks, who was visiting from Ontario with family and friends.

State Police say there were no working smoke alarms at the Mountainside Condoniums at Sugarbush on Monday morning.

Luckily, everybody inside the 36 now destroyed units got out safely. No one was hurt.

The Baillie and Hicks families were visiting from Ontario and rented units.

“I lost a bunch of clothing, my sister lost a laptop,” explained Alex Hicks. “I know some passports were lost. So basically a lot of important stuff, especially for getting across the border again."

Local police are helping them get home without passports.

Some condos are rented out, many are privately-owned. “We also have some employees who were living in some of those units so it certainly impacts our community,” said Sugarbush's Candice White.

Mutual aid from 6 neighboring towns spent all morning fighting the smoke and flames, in less than ideal conditions.

“The temperature and the way that the building was laid out, there's no access on the back side of the building. Some of the construction, the metal roof. It was hard to fight,” said Jack Corliss, Waitsfield Volunteer Firefighter. “The water just coming off the building, it just coats you. You freeze up instantly."

“You hear about it so much at school, you always have to be ready for a fire drill. But you never think it's going to happen to you,” said Nicholas Baillie, visiting from Ontario.

The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation. Officials say, the total estimated damage comes in at approximately $2 million.

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