Warmed hand towel starts fire at Milford home

Local firefighters report that a warmed hand towel started a fire at a Milford home Tuesday afternoon.

Milford Fire Dispatch received a 911 call at about 2 p.m. Tuesday reporting a fire on the exterior of a residential home at 24 Ward Street, which is off of Trumbull Avenue near Fort Trumbull Beach.

The first arriving firefighters found a small fire extending up the exterior front wall of the residence, according to Battalion Chief Anthony Fabrizi.

Firefighters deployed a hose line and quickly extinguished the small blaze, Fabrizi said. Damage was confined to the front wall and interior closet area of the home.

The homeowner told firefighters she was trying to heat a hand towel in the microwave oven and noticed a section of the towel had started to discolor from the heat.

“The homeowner then placed the towel outside to cool on her mailbox as a precaution and returned to the inside of her home,” Fabrizi said. “The towel had caught fire and spread to a wooden decoration mounted on the mailbox and eventually spread to the home's exterior siding. A short time later, a neighbor alerted the homeowner that the outside of the house was on fire.”

No injuries were reported and the occupant was not displaced by the fire. An investigation was conducted by the Milford Fire Marshal's Division.

“As a reminder,” Fabrizi said, “any smoldering objects should be thoroughly extinguished and/or placed in a fire rated metal container at a reasonable distance from your home or any combustible materials.”