A Winchester Drive family is in a shelter Monday after fire damaged a significant portion of their home the previous night.

Four adults, one child and the family’s pet birds were removed safely from the home, according to Shelton Fire Chief Francis T. Jones III, adding that this situation is an urgent reminder for residents to make sure their smoke detectors are functioning properly.

“The occupants were fortunate that a family member had yet to go to bed and smelled smoke,” said Jones, “since there were no ‘working’ smoke detectors present.”

Three engines, a ladder truck and a rescue truck responded to 15 Winchester Drive at 11:50 p.m. on Sunday, said Jones, and found the fire was on the ground-level floor of an attached in-law apartment addition to the rear of a large raised ranch.

Fire Marshal James Tortora said firefighters entered the unit and had the fire under control in about 30 minutes. He said the fire caused extensive damage to the basement area but firefighters kept the fire from entering the main house.

“The attached addition sustained heavy damage to the first floor,” said Jones. “Shelton firefighters from the Huntington, White Hills and Echo Hose fire companies were able to contain the fire to that section of the home. There was some smoke and water damage to other portions of the home. No injuries to civilians or firefighters.”

Tortora said the fire displaced two residents of the apartment and three from the main house. Jones said the main home was spared any major damage, but the attached addition had considerable structural damage. The main home should be able to be reoccupied in a relative short time frame once cleared by the building official, added the fire chief.

“They all got out safely and were given aid by the Red Cross,” said Tortora.

Jones said firefighters remained on scene for a couple hours after the fire assisting the families in salvaging personal items. The American Red Cross has provided shelter services for the family.

Residents requiring a smoke detector may contact the American Red Cross at http://cityofshelton.org/red-cross-smoke-detector-program. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com