Pregnant dog survives house fire in Hope

Posted March 05, 2010, at 10:23 p.m.

HOPE, Maine — A structure fire on a remote dirt road in Hope on Friday morning caused one family dog to perish, but another, pregnant dog was able to survive the ordeal.

About 20 minutes after firefighters had begun working to put out the burning Meadow Lane home, they had a surprise.

“The dog came barreling out of the house on her own … which amazes us,” said Chief Clarence Keller of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department. “I think it must be some kind of miracle.”

The fire apparently started in a toaster on the kitchen counter when owners Glen and Robin Adolphsen were not home, Keller said. When one of the Adolphsens returned at about 11 a.m., they discovered the fire, which by that time had reached the attic, Keller said.

Firefighters used fewer than 2,000 gallons of water to quell the flames in the garage-type structure with a second-floor dwelling, Keller said. Mutual aid was provided by Rockport, Union, Appleton and Lincolnville.

“We were very fortunate to have mutual aid, especially at that time of day,” Keller said. “Without them, certainly, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that we did.”

The insured structure was probably 90 percent intact, he said, although it did have significant heat and smoke damage throughout.

The dog — which fire officials think is a golden retriever due to give birth in a few days — was given oxygen by the Union Ambulance crew and then taken to a veterinarian.

Keller said that the department was “very thankful” for the overall outcome. No firefighters or other people were injured in the fire.

“While it’s not good for anybody to go through a fire, things could have gone much worse, because of its remoteness,” he said.

The department made good use of its new fire station at Hope Corner on Friday after the fire was out, Keller said. After a large community fundraising effort, the 5,000-square-foot station was opened late last year and has running water and other amenities.

“It was very nice today to come back,” Keller said. “There was a lot of dirty hose. It’s nice to have the running water.”

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