Strong winds cause fire to spread, destroying 2 homes in Milford

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MILFORD-  A fire fanned by strong winds destroyed two homes and heavily damaged a third on Melba Street in Milford Saturday afternoon.

No injuries were reported.

The two-alarm fire started at 1:38 p.m. Saturday at 74 Melba Street.  One person was in the home when the fire started, he managed to escape without injury, according to fire officials.

The home was ruled a total loss.

"It felt like house had basically blown up," said Vicki Washek, a Melba Street resident who witnessed the fire.

Milford Fire Department Captain Gregory Carmen says windy conditions caused the fire to spread to two adjoining homes.  "

"It pretty much blew the smoke and the fire right at the fire fighters on the street. So, it was very hard to get a hold of this fire, kind of facing an uphill battle," said Captain Carman.

A second home was ruled a total loss:  70 Melba Street  after the fire caused severe damage, including a partial roof collapse.

Additional fire crews were called to the scene to keep the fire from spreading any further.

In total, thirty firefighters responded from Milford and West Haven Fire Departments. The  scene was cleared at 5:39 p.m, according to Cpt. Carmen.

United Illuminating reported over 2,000 people were without power in the area at 4:08pm but power was later restored. Crews say the outages were related to the fire.

Both 70 and 74 Melba Street were demolished Saturday evening because the structures were deemed "unsafe."

The fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.

The extensive damage caused by these fires brings back memories of destruction in the neighborhood caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The home at 74 Melba Street that was destroyed Saturday was heavily damaged by the hurricane and eventually re-built and concrete pillars.

"We've seen this before, especially after the second hurricane when people just rebuilt after the first one, and now to have this happen. We're just glad we were able to stop it," said Cpt. Carman.