Charlene Rivers is left only with the pink bathrobe she wore on Thursday morning after fire destroyed the 130-year-old Windsor Locks home that has been in her family for nearly 50 years, she said.
Rivers, a direct descendant of Stonington founder Thomas Minor, said her family has no fire insurance.
Among the possessions fire destroyed was her father's antique gun collection. Ammunition from that collection was exploding when firefighters arrived, which complicated efforts for firefighters.
Around 2 a.m., firefighters responded to reports of a porch fire and were confronted by raging flames shooting from the front porch and the sound of explosions going off.
"When our crew first got on scene, we were told to stand back because there was ammo going off," Chief Gary Ruggerio, of the Windsor Locks Fire Department, said. "Initially when we pulled up, here were a lot of explosions going off, so that kept the guys back so they couldn't make an exterior attack."
Rivers, who lived in the house with her two brothers, said the ammunition came from her father’s gun collection.
"It scared the firemen because they don't know how much he had. I didn't know how much he had. All I know is that he had 14 guns. They were all put away and triggered locked and they were very old," she said.
At first, firefighters tried to fight the fire from inside the house, but they had to move out of it and fight the fire from the exterior.
The front porch collapsed in the fire and the home appears to be a complete loss.
All that Rivers has left is the pink bath robe on her back, she said.
"This is unbelievable," she said. "The first thing that I saw was the yellow glow."
Thankfully, Charlene and her two brothers got out OK and no firefighters were injured.
Rivers said she thinks the fire was intentionally set and someone staying with the family was targeted.
Windsor Locks Fire Marshal Mike Sinisgalli said it is not clear if the cause of the fire us suspicious and said the investigation will take some time.