Ida Schaechter, Adjunct Professor of Hillyer College died in her house fire on Tuesday November 1.
Prof. Schaechter and her husband lost power in the power outage and tried to keep warm by making a fire in the fireplace. This is the believed cause of the fire. The fire was reported around 9:00 p.m.
The police were the first to respond to the scene and tried to get her out but the ladder they used caught on fire. The fire department had trouble reaching the house because of streets that were blocked with downed power lines and fallen trees.
By the time they got there the only thing that wasn’t burning was the two car garage. The fire department tried to get to the second story where Prof. Schaechter was, but it started to burn and the smoke and heat was too intense for the firefighters to be able to rescue her.
In addition, there was also a large tree in between the residence and the nearest fire hydrant causing fire fighters to run the hose by hand. West Hartford fire fighters say they tried to get Prof. Schaechter out of the residence but could not get her out because of how engulfed it was. Her husband Harry was able to escape the fire and was taken to St. Francis Hospital for medical treatment.Back to Main Page