STETSON, Maine — A Stetson family escaped unharmed but lost their pet dog and tortoise and can’t find their cats after a Saturday evening fire.
Joyce Estabrooke said her family had gone to bed when she smelled smoke shortly before 10 p.m. at her 247 Lapoint Road home.
When firefighters arrived they found the first and second floors heavily involved, according to Stetson Fire Chief Kim Tracy.
“We got a handle on it, we saved the main portion of the house, we just don’t know where it started yet,” Tracy said.
The house is arranged in an L shape. The second floor of the longer portion of the house was gutted, Tracy said, as well as the ceiling. But the fire did little damage to the shorter, single-story section.
Skylights on the top of the second floor blew out, providing vents for the fire and likely saving the building from further damage, according to Tracy.
A few firefighters suffered heat exhaustion, and Estabrooke fell and hit her head when she entered the building after the fire was doused, but there were no serious injuries.
Estabrooke said the family’s dog and tortoise were on the second floor of the house and died in the fire. The family’s two cats are missing, but the family is hoping they escaped.
Tracy said the town’s automatic aid agreement helped provide the manpower to get the fire contained quickly. In an automatic aid agreement, towns respond immediately to calls in other towns, while in a mutual aid agreement, the help must be requested.
In addition to the Stetson Fire Department, towns that assisted at the scene included Hermon, Etna, Dixmont, Levant, Carmel, Newport and Glenburn.