A boy was forced to leap from a window to escape when a fire overtook his family's historic home in Fairfield early Saturday morning.
Fire officials said the fire erupted at the home on Old Post Road around 1:30 a.m.
A couple and their four children lived in the house. Fire officials said everyone was able to escape, but one of the children, a boy under 10 years old, leaped from a window and was treated for cuts at a hospital.
The boy's father was also hospitalized for smoke inhalation. He and the boy are expected to be OK.
The home was built in 1816 and firefighters said the home’s old construction and wood siding made it difficult for crews to get the flames under control. Fire spread quickly from the first floor to the second floor.
“Fire will travel from a lower floor and have no fire stop to go to upper floors,” said Fairfield Deputy Fire Chief Kyran Dunn. “We have to open walls, we have to open up plaster ceilings. It’s back-breaking labor, manpower intensive.”
Neighbors were woken by the sound of fire trucks as firefighters worked for two hours to extinguish the flames.
“First there was a red glow from the side of the house and embers flying up, and pretty soon thereafter there were flames coming from the side of the building. It was very scary,” said neighbor Katherine Seaborn.
The home was gutted, but parts are still salvageable and the building is structurally sound, authorities said. It was built by the Honourable Rodger Minot Sherman, a judge and nephew of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
“Old Post Road has some of the oldest homes in Fairfield and it’s really sad that one of them received that much damage,” said Seaborn.
Mutual aid responded from Westport, Easton and Bridgeport. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials do not believe it is suspicious. The fire marshal has focused the investigation into the fire’s cause on the back of the home, where the worst of the damage occurred.