SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — A fast-moving fire destroyed a house and garage Thursday afternoon but local fire departments were able to salvage a large amount of personal belongings.
The fire destroyed the home of Audrey Buffington on Snowdeal Lane, located off the Waterman’s Beach Road. The 3,300-square-foot home was assessed by the town at $309,200.
There were no serious injuries, although one occupant of the home had his hair singed, South Thomaston Fire Chief Bryan Calderwood said.
Both Buffington and a neighbor called in the fire at about 12:47 p.m. Buffington reported hearing an explosion in the garage, and when she opened the garage door she was met with heavy smoke, the chief said.
The chief said that when he arrived on the scene six minutes later the garage, attached to the house, was engulfed in flames. Mutual aid was called in and fire crews and trucks from St. George, Owls Head, Thomaston and Rockland arrived along with ambulances from South Thomaston and St. George.
The garage collapsed within two minutes of the chief’s arrival, he said.
Crews were able to quell the fire in an hour while working to remove belongings from the house, the chief said. The fire was stopped before it reached the basement where there were more belongings.
“They did a really, really good job in salvaging personal items,” Maine State Fire Marshal Office investigator Kenneth MacMaster said.
MacMaster said the cause of the fire is undetermined due to the extent of the damage.
The house was insured, the chief said. He said the Red Cross put Buffington up in a hotel Thursday night.
Buffington was a long-time member of the School Administrative District 5 board and was its chairman for two years until she left the board in 2007.