Dave St. Pierre, photo
FAIRFAX — A Fairfax man was killed in a fire that destroyed his family’s home Friday.
Joseph Benoit, 80, was attempting to light a fire in his woodstove in his 2993 Main St. home when he accidentally set himself on fire, according to Vermont State Police.
Benoit was spraying a flammable liquid into the firebox when his clothing caught fire, said Detective Sgt. Walter Smith.
Benoit and his wife, Phyllis, attempted, to extinguish the fire until the flames, heat and smoke made it too dangerous for her to remain in the house, according to Smith.
Phyllis Benoit was able to escape the fire.
The Benoits were known locally as Leo and Marie Benoit.
Fairfax firefighters were alerted around 4:15 on Friday, according to Battalion Chief Dave Raymond. They immediately called for assistance from Georgia and St. Albans Town.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, “there was heavy fire coming out of every window on the second floor,” said Raymond. “The roof burnt through and the second floor collapsed within 10 minutes of us arriving on the scene.”
They were unable to extract Joseph Benoit from the building and he was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters remained on the site until roughly 10 p.m.