RUTLAND - On Jan. 3, the Rutland City Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the home of Alphonse Coccia, age 66, of 44 Forrest St. around 2:58 p.m. The fire department requested the Vermont State Police and the Division of Fire Safety to conduct an investigation into the cause of this fire. This origin and cause investigation was conducted on Jan. 5.
Investigation showed that the area of origin of this fire was within the ceiling and floor space between the first and second floor toward the front quarter of the structure. This fire then traveled void spaces in the construction through the walls and into several rooms and the roof area.
The exact point of origin and cause could not be determined due to the structural instability within this area of the building because of a partial collapse of the roof and second floor. The fire is classified as undetermined at this time with a likely cause being and electrical incident within the ceiling/floor void or pyrolysis of combustible materials within this area due to heating devices in the same void space. No suspicious circumstances were found at this time. No injuries were reported.
The structure is considered a total loss with damage estimated to be in excess of $400,000. Numerous families were left homeless after this incident.