Fire rips through house, leaves Paris couple homeless

Homeowner Laura Freeman, right, is comforted by her neighbor and friend Judy Hawley, as firefighters battle flames erupted in Freeman's garage and spread to the house early Thursday evening at 8 Summerland St. in Paris.
Leslie H. Dixon | Sun Journal
Homeowner Laura Freeman, right, is comforted by her neighbor and friend Judy Hawley, as firefighters battle flames erupted in Freeman's garage and spread to the house early Thursday evening at 8 Summerland St. in Paris.
Posted Aug. 30, 2013, at 6:57 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 02, 2013, at 11:38 a.m.
Firefighters douse flames on the back of Laura Freeman's home at 8 Summerland St. in Paris late Thursday afternoon. The fire began in the garage and spread to the house.
Leslie H. Dixon | Sun Journal
Firefighters douse flames on the back of Laura Freeman's home at 8 Summerland St. in Paris late Thursday afternoon. The fire began in the garage and spread to the house.
Firefighters cut a hole in the roof of Laura Freeman's burning home at 8 Summerland St. in Paris late Thursday afternoon. The fire began in the attached garage shortly before 5 p.m.
Leslie H. Dixon | Sun Journal
Firefighters cut a hole in the roof of Laura Freeman's burning home at 8 Summerland St. in Paris late Thursday afternoon. The fire began in the attached garage shortly before 5 p.m.

PARIS, Maine — Flames from a garage fire spread to a home at 8 Summerland St. last week, leaving Laura Freeman and her husband, Wolf Gumm, homeless.

Firefighters from at least six towns rushed to the scene off Mt. Mica Road shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday.

Homeowner Freeman, who was not home when the fire started, said her husband told her he parked his car in the garage attached to the house and went into the house when he heard several explosions and saw smoke. Freeman said they believed there was a short-circuit in the car that sparked the blaze.

Gumm escaped safely. The family’s cat and kittens were believed to be under the porch when the fire broke out.

Freeman was driving home from work and pulled over for firetrucks to pass her, not realizing they were going to her home until she arrived there.

“I kept pulling over for firetrucks. I didn’t know it was my home,” Freeman said.

Judy Hawley, who lives in the house behind Freeman, said she heard explosions.

“All I saw was black puffs of smoke and then, bang. You could have blown me over with a feather,” she said.

As she saw her neighbor’s house in flames “I said, ‘no, it can’t be,’” she said.

Firefighters were still on the scene at 7:12 p.m., when the fire was reported to be “under control.” Holes were cut in the roof to vent the smoke and heat, allowing firefighters access to the interior of the building.

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