Fire destroys Newtown mansion once owned by guitar-making family - WFSB 3 Connecticut

FIRST ON THE SCENE

Fire destroys Newtown mansion once owned by guitar-making family

Posted: Updated:
An overnight fire destroyed an old mansion on Castle Hill Road in Newtown. (Stony Hill Fire Department) An overnight fire destroyed an old mansion on Castle Hill Road in Newtown. (Stony Hill Fire Department)
(Stony Hill Fire Department) (Stony Hill Fire Department)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

An old mansion once owned by a guitar maker was ravaged by flames overnight in Newtown, according to firefighters.

They told Eyewitness News that the fire continued to burn at 20 Castle Hill Rd. early Wednesday morning. Hot spots were still popping up hours later.

Eyewitness News was first on the scene,

An assistant fire chief said the call came in around 2 a.m. as a brush fire. An eyewitness reported a big orange glow.

"I didn't know what was happening," said Chris Mais of Newtown. "I mean it woke us up, the lights and our dogs were going crazy.”

According to firefighters, they were overcome with flames when they arrived on the scene.

They said it took two hours to get the situation under control. They had a rough time because of a lack of water.

"We have limited hydrants so access to the facility or access to the property and getting water up to it was the hardest part," said Assistant Chief Jason Rivera, Newtown Fire Department.

The home was gutted.

By mid-morning, an excavator tore away parts of the building so firefighters could attack hidden hot spots.

The mansion has been vacant for decades and no one was hurt.

"It was an amazing home," Mais said.

Crews reopened Castle Hill Road around 6:15 a.m., so no school bus routes were expected to be impacted as previously thought by police.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state and local fire marshals.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that police were all over the area on Tuesday.

"[Tuesday] afternoon I saw like a cop car and an unidentified cop car and I thought it odd," Mais said. "I saw the unidentified car just going up and down the street for quite a while."

Police, however, said their patrols in the area were unrelated to the fire.

They said the mansion was once owned by the Gretsch family, which is known for Gretsch guitars. It was built in 1908.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.