LEVANT, Maine — A historic farmstead on Stetson Road West was heavily damaged Monday night in a fire that began in a barn and spread to the attached two-story house, despite the efforts of firefighters from nearly a dozen area departments.
The residence, which once was part of a cattle farm, dates back to 1853, Levant Assistant Fire Chief Nathan Peary said at the scene.
Neighbors said that the house was owned by the John and Nyla Hicks family, who were at home when the fire began at about 6:40 p.m.
Firefighters said the family, their dogs and their pet rabbit all made it out safely. Peary said no firefighters were injured.
“That’s the critical thing,” he said.
Peary said the house recently had been renovated and that the family managed to carry some of their belongings out to the lawn. He said some of the contents of the house might be salvageable.
He said, however, that it did not appear the house or barn, which were insured, could be saved.
“There was extensive, extensive damage,” he said. While the fire inside the house was out by 9:30 p.m., the fire continued to flare up in the barn, which Peary said was filled with firewood.
The Hicks have family and friends in the area, Peary said. He did not know Monday night if the American Red Cross was providing assistance.
It wasn’t yet clear Monday night how the fire began, Peary said. He said the State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to help pinpoint the cause.
Crews from Levant, Carmel, Hermon, Kenduskeag and Stetson as well as Hudson, Bangor, Glenburn, Corinth and the Maine Air National Guard were still on the scene at 9 p.m.
Peary said about 75 firefighters turned out and that several were expected to remain at the scene into the early morning hours.