Firefighters from 16 departments worked for six hours to extinguish a huge blaze at a mansion near Burlington that started Monday night and continued into the early morning hours Tuesday.
Chief Craig Whyte of the Burlington Community Fire Protection District said the blaze was reported around 11 p.m. Monday on the 70-acre estate along McGough Road.
"The call was that there was a car on fire by the garage," Whyte said. "When we got there, the garage was fully involved and the apartment above the garage where the groundskeeper lives was fully involved as well."
Whyte said the apartment above the garage was not occupied when the fire erupted and no one was injured.
Crews used nine engines, 15 tankers and two ladder trucks to battle the fire. Because there are no hydrants in the area, firefighters had to haul around 50,000 gallons of water to the scene.
They also were able to draw water from a pond in the front yard.
"That pond was a lifesaver," Whyte said. "Without that, it would have been a lot harder to contain the fire."
The garage and apartment above it were total losses, but the house, which is attached to the garage by a breezeway, was not damaged.
Whyte said authorities believe the fire was started by a Polaris ATV that was parked in front of the six-car garage. The residents noticed the ATV had caught fire, called 911 and tried to extinguish the blaze using a garden hose.
The residents were able to remove the cars parked in the garage before the fire spread because there were doors on both sides of the building.