Wind-fanned flames destroy Appleton home, draw 31 firefighters

Posted Dec. 23, 2010, at 11:26 a.m.

APPLETON, Maine — More than 30 firefighters from four towns battled a house fire for six hours Wednesday night as wind fanned the flames. Despite the firefighters’ efforts and more than 70,000 gallons of water used to fight the blaze, the house owned by Curtis and Mary Starrett was destroyed.

Appleton Fire Chief David Stone summarized: “Total loss. Too close to Christmas. Too much snow. Too much wind.”

Slippery roads leading to the 1½-story home on Appleton Ridge Road made it difficult to get firetrucks to the scene after the fire was called in at about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday. Gusting winds fanned flames to spread the fire throughout the home, Stone said.

Firefighters drew water from a pond a mile away, but getting tankers to the house proved challenging.

“It was very difficult. The roads were slippery as heck,” Stone said. “We had a hard time getting water to the fire because the driveway was so slippery.”

No one was injured in the fire, and the Starretts are staying with friends, Stone said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known but was being investigated Friday, he said.

Thirty-one firefighters from Appleton, Union, Searsmont and Hope responded to the alarm. An attached garage was saved from the fire.

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