June 22, 2018
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Fire destroys Durham barn but responders save house

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

DURHAM, Maine — Firefighters from eight communities worked for hours early Monday to extinguish a blaze in a two-story, post-and-beam barn attached to a house at 1862 Royalsborough Road.

The barn burned to the ground, but Durham Fire Capt. C.J. Larrabee said the quick response from Freeport and six other mutual aid departments prevented the attached home — in which there were no working smoke detectors — from also burning down.

The fire was reported just after 2 a.m. Monday, Larrabee said, and Freeport and Durham firefighters responded within two minutes of each other.

“We set up a nice water supply and called in [other] mutual aid towns” including Brunswick, Pownal, Lisbon, New Gloucester, Auburn and Falmouth, he said. “We knocked down a lot of the fire in the house. There was some damage, but we still saved a lot of the belongings.”

Crews had the fire knocked down in about an hour and a half, but at 7:30 a.m. Monday still had not entirely cleared the scene. An excavator continued to dig out potential hot spots after a metal roof fell onto a concrete floor, burying pieces of the old post-and-beam barn, which Larrabee said “is just impossible to move.”

The homeowner and his wife — whose names were not available this morning — got out safely, and the American Red Cross was contacted, according to Larrabee.

“They did not have any working smoke detectors in the house,” he added.

Investigators from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office will visit the scene on Tuesday, although Larrabee said he believes he knows the cause of the blaze.

“It is not a suspicious fire,” he said.

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