June 24, 2018
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Pets perish in Belfast home fire

Abigail Curtis | BDN
Abigail Curtis | BDN
Firefighters from five towns worked Friday afternoon to extinguish a fire that destroyed a West Waldo Road home.
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — A dog and cat perished Friday afternoon but no people were hurt in a fire that demolished a home on West Waldo Road.

When firefighters arrived at the shingled two-story home at about 3 p.m., flames were coming out the windows, officials said.

“Smoke was coming out of everywhere. It was fully involved. We couldn’t have got in to see if there was anyone there,” said Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden.

Homeowners Karen and Chris Castarson were not home, but their pets were. Karen Castarson said that she had come home in the middle of the day to walk the dog, a boxer-beagle mix.

Fire officials said they had found the bodies of the animals inside.

“I’d say it had been burning for awhile before [flames] came out the windows,” Belfast Fire Chief Jim Richards said.

By 4 p.m., firefighters had quelled the flames, but continued to soak the home with an estimated 10,000 gallons of water and foam. Smoke still poured out of the upstairs skylight windows, and the roof looked like charcoal.

Richards said he was not sure what caused the fire and expected an investigator from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office to come to the home on Tuesday.

He said that firefighters from Morrill, Waldo, Searsport and Northport assisted Belfast in putting out the fire. Altogether, more than 20 firefighters — most of whom are volunteers — came to the scene.

“We had a good turnout,” Richards said. “They all did a good job. Everybody worked together.”

The home was insured, and the couple expected to stay the night with friends in Belfast, he said.

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