The smell of smoke lingers in the air from the chared remains of a Charnes Drive residence that was ravaged by a fire late last night.
The fire, which broke out at about 10:45 p.m., left the house at 47 Charnes Drive uninhabitable. Due to the quick response of the East Haven Fire Department, much of the damage was confined to an attached garage and the nearby rooms.
"The guys made a nice stop," commented Chuck Licata, assistant fire chief. "It was a pretty significant fire."
The garage roof collapsed onto two vehicles, which were blackened and heavily burnt in the blaze. Flames from the fire were so high that leaves on some of the trees in the yard were singed.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries due to heat exhaustion; he was treated on scene and did not require transport to the hospital, Licata said.
"It was very, very, very hot," Licata noted. "It's very difficult to fight a fire when it's hot like that."
The fire marshal, who was on scene conducting an investigation until about 5 a.m., was not immediately available for comment today.
Joe Ruszczyk has lived next door to the house that caught fire since 1978. He said his wife heard two popping noises last night and when their daughter went to let the dogs out, they noticed smoke and flames coming from their neighbor's house.
"That garage just went up like timber," Ruszczyk said.
The owner came out from the house last night wrapped in a blanket, and said he had been sleeping, Ruszczyk said.
He was unsure if the owner had been living there; the fire department initially reported that the house was vacant.
According to the Assessor's Office, 47 Charnes Drive is owned by Thomas Venice. There is a for sale sign in the yard, and the grass is almost knee-high.
A North Haven man who was driving by said he passes the house regularly on his way to the East Haven beach and has contemplated buying it. Looking at the damage, he didn't seem so sure anymore.
According to Coldwell Banker, which is marketing the listing, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on .66 acres is available for $199,900.