MEXICO, Maine — Residents and family pets at 300 River Road escaped just minutes before their house was fully engulfed by flames Tuesday night.
Fire departments from Mexico, Rumford, Dixfield, Peru, Roxbury and Andover responded to the 5:25 p.m. fire.
Linda Bisson, who owns the house, said her son, Nelson Bisson, and his wife, Courtney, had been living in the house with their 6-year-old daughter. All four were inside at the time of the blaze, with friends Larry Pulk of Gardiner and his partner, Spargo.
Pulk said he was looking out one of the windows when he saw flames coming from around the carport.
“That’s when I yelled for everyone to get out,” he said.
Spargo was standing at a neighbor’s as fire crews blasted the house with water. It was then she realized her hair had been partially burned. Pulk said a board had landed on her head as they were fleeing the house.
Three dogs also escaped from the home. Two of the dogs ran down the street and into Walmart during the commotion. Employees at the store held onto the dogs until the owners could retrieve them.
Two cars that were in the carport were a total loss. Lisa Malchisky, who was working at Simply Sweet Market and Bakery across the street, said she heard what she believed were the vehicles exploding.
Sisters Linda and Michelle Waters were passing by in a vehicle when they noticed smoke and flames coming from one side of the carport.
They turned their car around and went back to the residence.
“I ran out and started to knock on the door as five to six people ran out from the house,” Linda Waters said. “My sister was the one who called 911.”
By 7 p.m., fire departments were still on scene working to put out the blaze. River Road had been closed to traffic.