SPRINGFIELD, Maine — Juanita Moores is a very young 88-year-old, her daughter says.
Recently diagnosed with cancer, Moores has endured one operation but hasn’t let it slow here down very much.
“She is pretty upbeat,” said Tricia Cliff, Moores’ daughter and a resident of High Point, N.C., who came to Springfield to be with her mother and take a vacation.
“Even with the diagnosis, she has been out and about, running around and visiting people. She hasn’t let it [cancer] affect her too much,” Cliff said.
But Moores was dealt a difficult blow Friday night when the farmhouse at 14 Lowell Road she has lived in for 57 years was gutted by fire.
As of 11 p.m., firefighters had doused almost all of the flames and were mopping up. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters from Kingman, Lee and Springfield responded when the fire was reported at 9:03 p.m., dispatchers from the Penobscot Regional Communications Center said.
The firefighters set up a holding tank and pumped water into it from a nearby source as part of their attack.
Moores told Cliff that she was asleep in bed when the smell of smoke awakened her. The smoke seemed to fill the whole bottom of the house and appeared to be coming from upstairs.
Moores tried to call 911 but the telephone was dead. She went to the neighboring home of her cousin Hazen Moores and reported the fire.
When the first wave of firefighters arrived, the fire already was well under way.
As of 11 p.m., it was apparent that the roof and most of rest of the two-story house, which appeared to have an addition, was consumed in the blaze.
The Cliffs got a scare when they arrived at the fire scene and briefly thought that their family matriarch was trapped in the house, Cliff said.
“We saw her here [at the house] at about 6 or 6:30 and when my husband called at 8 she did not answer,” Cliff said. “So that scared us.
Built in the 1800s, the farmhouse had been totally rebuilt by Cliff’s brother Jerry Moores, Cliff said.
Juanita Moores, who lived at the farmhouse alone, stays with family in Bangor during the winter.
The Cliffs have been staying at a camp down the road, said Abby Cliff, 16, Tricia Cliff’s daughter.
“She [Juanita] is pretty upset,” Tricia Cliff said. “This is hitting her hard.”
BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.