One dead, one injured in Elmore house fire started by chair lift

Local News

ELMORE, Vt. – One man died and a woman is being treated for severe burns suffered in Wednesday’s house fire in Elmore.

Multiple fire departments responded to the home on East Elmore Road just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, and began battling a blaze coming from the living room area of the house.

Firefighters were able to get inside and pull 68-year-old Francis Hill to safety. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at Copley Hospital. Amy Hill, 43, was also transported to Copley Hospital, but was later transferred to UVM Medical Center. She’s being treated for second degree burns to her head, face, neck and arms in addition to smoke inhalation.

Once the fire was extinguished, the Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit arrived and secured the area until it could be examined in daylight.

Investigators say the fire appears to have begun in an electric-powered lift chair in the living room while both individuals were in another part of the house. The cause was chafing of electrical wires in the chair lift, which eventually shorted out and caused the upholstery and foam cushions to ignite.

The living room and front porch sustained significant smoke, soot and water damage. Firefighters were able to save the structure, but two dogs and two cats also perished in the blaze.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz of the Vermont State Police Williston Barracks at 802-878-7111, or by email at todd.ambroz@vermont.gov.

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