Mendon woman dies in house fire

The Vermont State Police is investigating the death of a woman in a fire at her Mendon home late Saturday, March 18. The death of 52-year-old Helvi Abatiell Furlan is not considered suspicious.

 Emergency responders received a call at about 11:42 p.m. Saturday from a woman who said she was in a structure fire, and then stopped responding to the dispatcher. The dispatcher was able to determine that the address of the call was 176 Old Stockbridge Path in Mendon. Vermont State Police, Regional Ambulance Service, and numerous local fire departments responded. 

 Emergency crews including two state troopers and members of the Rutland Fire Department located Furlan inside the home and carried her out of the burning residence and to an ambulance. A 17-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl who had been in the home survived the fire without injury, along with the family dog. Abatiell Furlan was taken by Regional Ambulance Service to Rutland Regional Medical Center, where she died at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, March 19. Her body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

 The Dept. of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit was called in to investigate the origin and cause of the fire. The fire appears to be accidental, and the origin is believed to be in or around the wood burning furnace and chimney. The specific cause is classified as undetermined. 

Responding fire departments included agencies from Rutland City, Rutland Town, Killington, Chittenden, Proctor and Pittsford. The Vermont State Police Victim Services Unit also responded to provide assistance.

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