House Fires Update


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The damage at 6 Woodland Avenue
The damage at 6 Woodland Avenue

It’s been a strange couple of weeks for house fires in Verona. It started on the morning of December 21, when a fire erupted at 40 Kenwood. Fortunately, the family was not at home, but the fire caused the loss of a beloved pet and the displacement of the family, who will have to rebuild.

Then, three days later, the fire horns rang again, and 40 of Verona’s bravest spent Christmas Eve battling a major fire at 6 Woodland Avenue. Again, no one was at home and no one was hurt, but the damage was significant. (This was also what caused the lights to go out on the north side of town for a time.) There was also a call at at 156 Linden Avenue on December 31 that, thankfully, turned out to be little more than a smoke condition .

What’s going on? Could there be an explanation for the Christmas cluster of  serious fires in our little town, or is it just a statistical blip? One veteran Verona firefighter noted that, in his many years of fighting fires in Verona, he can’t remember a month with two big house fires. Verona Fire Department Chief Charlie Magatti says he can’t comment on the causes of the fires as both major blazes are currently under investigation by the Fire Department as well as the insurance companies for the homeowners. “Fires come in spurts; they’re unpredictable,” he says. They also seem to be more common in colder weather, he notes. When the investigations are completed and the causes of the blazes determined, look for the findings here.

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected]


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