May 20, 2018
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Fire destroys family’s Pittsfield home

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

PITTSFIELD, Maine — An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office is expected Monday at the scene of a fire that destroyed a Pittsfield family’s home Sunday afternoon.

The home at 679 Canaan Road, which is also Route 2, was gutted by flames and is a total loss, according to Pittsfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Dean Billings. The owners of the residence, Harvey and Polly Elderkin, who have children, were not home when the fire started.

Billings said he was the first person on the scene at about 2:50 p.m. and that heavy smoke was wafting from three sides of the building. By the time firefighting crews from several towns had arrived at the scene, flames were showing on two sides of the building.

Billings said a crew attacked the fire from within, but then had to be pulled out after flames appeared in the attic and the integrity of the roof came into question. Firefighters doused the flames from outside for about 30 minutes before the fire subsided. Crews hauled in water from the nearby Sibley Pond Bridge on Route 2.

“We had plenty of everything we needed,” said Billings.

Some pets, including rabbits and dogs, were found at the scene, but none of them were harmed.

Crews from Pittsfield, Newport, Detroit, Canaan, Hartland and St. Albans fought the blaze while police officers from Pittsfield, Somerset County and Maine State Police rerouted traffic on Route 2.

Billings praised what he called “clockwork” coordination between the firefighters at the scene. He did not know whether the Elderkin family’s home was insured and said they were meeting with representatives from the American Red Cross Sunday evening.

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