WEST PARIS, Maine — A family of six lost everything after fire ripped through their McKeen Road farmhouse late Sunday morning.
West Paris Fire Chief Norm St. Pierre said the blaze erupted about 10:48 a.m. Sunday at the home of Josh and Kristy Basso. Josh Basso was home at the time of the fire with the couple’s four sons, ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years old.
The home was insured.
“They’re going to need assistance,” St. Pierre said. “But, you know, the good thing is they weren’t asleep at the time. It was a good thing they were outside at the time.”
St. Pierre said Basso and his sons were playing outside when they suddenly heard what sounded like dishes breaking in the kitchen. He said Basso entered the home to find flames coming from a large cookstove and initially reported the blaze as a chimney fire.
St. Pierre said it was unclear whether Basso used the stove as a primary heating source for the two-story, four-bedroom, post-and-beam wooden structure. The cause of the blaze was determined to be a cardboard box full of wood that was next to the stove.
St. Pierre said a nearby sheriff’s deputy was the first responder on scene and attempted to put out the fire with an extinguisher. By the time crews arrived, the home was fully engulfed.
“We had fire coming out all four sides of the house,” St. Pierre said.
According to a dispatcher with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, fire departments from Buckfield, Norway, Paris, Hebron, Greenwood, Oxford and Sumner assisted West Paris firefighters.
Kristy Basso, a nurse at the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris, was working at the time of the fire. St. Pierre said that the American Red Cross was working with the family Sunday night to set up a fund for donations.
To see more from the Sun Journal, visit sunjournal.com.