Homeowner Moves On After Devastating Middlebury Fire

A Middlebury mansion burned to the ground nearly two weeks ago as the owner stood by helplessly and watched. Now, he says he’s determined to put the tragedy behind him and move on.

Businessman Larry Janesky, who owns Basement Systems in Seymour and is also a motivational speaker, says he will rebuild on the same lot where he watched his more than 10,000-square-foot mansion burn.

“It’s been a tough week but we’re moving forward,” said Janesky.

Janesky was not at home on July 3 when the fire broke out, but he quickly returned to the scene to watch in frustration as the flames burned for about eight hours.

“My son was here and he smelled smoke and he did his best, got the fire department out here as quickly as possible but they just... obviously what started small became a total loss,” said Janesky.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and initially thought they had knocked down the fire, which started in the attic above the pool, but soon realized the flames had spread behind the walls.

“We pulled everybody out. We knew that we had a well involved fire. We had limited water cause it’s in a non-hydrant area and we made a defensive attack on it,” said Chief Paul Perrotti of the Middlebury Fire Department.

He says about 100 firefighters responded from Middlebury and other nearby towns. They hauled upwards of 500,000 gallons of water to the property from hydrants more than a mile away, he said.

Janesky and his family members lost nearly everything. He says he’s determined not to dwell on that, but is instead focused on moving on.

“Every day you get up and you have a choice to make. You can either carry anger and bitterness and resentment and all this stuff with you or you can turn toward the sun and move forward and that's what we're doing,” said Janesky.

The town’s fire marshal says the fire started by the spontaneous combustion of foam insulation that contractors had just applied.

The investigation into the incident continues.

Contact Us