BUCKFIELD, Maine — A 30-year-old woman and a dog named Fireball escaped unharmed when flames swept through a mobile home on Riverbend Road on Wednesday morning.
Melissa David of 367 Riverbend Road and the 4-month-old mutt were able to run out of their home around 11 a.m. after a motorist, who remains anonymous, spotted the smoke and ran to the door to alert her.
“He saved my life in the trailer pretty much,” Davis said as she stood outside the charred remains of the home wearing a black watch cap and wrapped in a blue wool blanket.
The owner of the home, Eric Grenier, his 6-year-old son Kopen and a man identified as David’s boyfriend, who also live in the home, were not there when the fire broke out.
“They did an awesome job here,” Grenier said of the 25 or so firefighters from Buckfield, Paris, Turner, Sumner, Hebron and Norway who were called to the scene, which is on a dirt road about two miles off Route 140.
Buckfield Incident Commander Don Woolley II said the fire apparently started in a chimney and spread under the roof to both sides of the house. It caused extensive damage in the kitchen, living room and parts of a bedroom. Smoke was pouring from both sides of the home when they arrived, but firefighters were able to knock down the flames in about 20 minutes, he said.
Although no damage estimates were available, Grenier said it appears most of the furniture in those areas was wet and smokey and will need to be replaced. Much of the home will have to be stripped and rebuilt, he said.
There was no insurance on the home, he said.
There was good news, though, he said. All his Christmas presents and a $1,200 drum set his son just received from the Open Sky Fund were not damaged. The presents were at his mother’s home, where the family will stay temporarily.
Open Sky, a nonprofit organization, provides musical instruments and opportunities to children in Maine. Grenier said he helps support the charity.
Grenier, 35, who is a home builder and was at work in Hanover at the time of the fire, said he has lived in the remote site “off the grid” for the past four years.
“It took a long time to get to this point,” he said of his struggle to set up a home for himself and his son. “This is all cosmetic as far as I’m concerned ,” he said of the damage.
He said the Red Cross offered him assistance, but he told them to save it for another family who might need help, since he is able to temporarily relocate to his mother’s nearby home.
Grenier and his family are well known in the area for their band Trailer Trash.
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