Upon arrival, firefighters found a fully involved garage fire and flames and smoke billowing out of the second floor of the house, he said.
"The roof (of the house) was burning off," he said.
No one was injured.
A pet dog was inside the house at the time, but escaped without injury, Starkey said.
"We made entry into the first floor of the house and tried to save some of the homeowner's possessions," he said. "Overall, it was a total loss."
Firefighters did not bring the fire under control until about 2:30 p.m.
Madison, Harpersfield and Saybrook fire departments provided assistance in battling the blaze, which was exceptionally difficult in the bitter cold, firefighters said.
Although it has not been confirmed, it appears the fire started in the area of the garage, Starkey said.
Firefighters did not clear the scene until 4:45 p.m., he said.
Written by Star Beacon