April 24, 2018
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Plymouth family homeless after fire

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

PLYMOUTH, Maine — Fire destroyed a young family’s home and killed their two dogs Sunday, even though fire crews were on the scene within a few minutes of the blaze being reported.

Plymouth Deputy Chief Arrin Farrar said he and several firefighters were at the fire station finishing up a training exercise at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday when a motorist reported seeing flames and smoke coming from a mobile home with an addition at 126 Etna Road.

“I think I was here within one minute after the call, and the first truck was here within three minutes,” he said. Heavy flames and smoke were already visible through a front window to the home’s kitchen, said Farrar.

Shantelle and Corey Edkins, who live in the home with their three young children, were not home at the time. Shantelle Edkins said she and the children were visiting with family and Corey was working.

Firefighters were able to salvage a few items, such as family photographs and a beauty show tiara prized by the Edkins’ 7-year-old daughter, but for the most part they lost everything they owned.

“We’re just going to have to take it day by day, aren’t we?” said Shantelle to her daughter. “I have no idea what we’re going to do.”

The Edkinses also have a 4-year-old son and 14-month-old daughter.

The family lost two dogs in the blaze, a pug named Otis and a Yorkshire terrier named Phoebe. They bought the property, their first home, about five years ago. Thankfully, said Shantelle Edkins, it was insured.

Farrar said representatives from the American Red Cross were on their way to the scene to assist the family. Shantelle’s father, Scott Mayhew, was also at the scene Sunday. He said his family isn’t used to taking help from others, but that “anything in the way of donations would help at this point,” especially clothing and toys for the children.

Fire crews from Etna, Dixmont and Detroit assisted at the scene and were able to extinguish the flames very quickly, but not quick enough.

“I’m considering this home a total loss,” said Farrar, who added that the fire might have started in the kitchen area. An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was due at the scene today.

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