Firefighters rescue four dogs from Groton house fire

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Groton — Firefighters rescued four dogs from a house fire on Lestertown Road on Friday afternoon.

Several fire departments responded to the blaze at 351 Lestertown Road shortly after 1 p.m., with heavy winds and the narrowness and steepness of the street presenting challenges for firefighters, Groton City Fire Department Chief Robert Tompkins said.

Tompkins said firefighters knocked down the main fire in about 30 minutes. The home was unoccupied and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remained under investigation, Tompkins said. He said the harsh winds played a factor in spreading the fire, which caused substantial damage to the home.

Tompkins said firefighters used first aid kits specifically designed for animals to assist with the dogs, which he said were in healthy condition. Tompkins said the kits were donated by Groton City Fire Department Capt. Mark Cassidy and his wife, whose dog had died a few years ago.

Portions of Lestertown Road and Military Highway remained closed for more than two hours.

Tom Hansen, who was driving by the area with his wife on his way home to Rhode Island, said he called in to report flames from the house shortly after 1 p.m. He and other neighbors said the cold winds carried heavy smoke throughout the neighborhood.

Several crews responded in addition to Groton City Fire Department and Groton City Police, including Electric Boat, Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department, New London Fire Department, Mystic Fire Department, Submarine Base Fire Department, Groton Ambulance and Groton Utilities.

b.kail@theday.com

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