LAGRANGE, Maine — State fire marshals will be on Bennoch Road on Monday to determine what started a fire that destroyed a one-family home and garage, leaving two people, three dogs and two cats homeless, Fire Chief Joseph Baker said Sunday.
About 30 volunteers from the Alton, Bradley, Hudson, Milo and town fire departments responded quickly but couldn’t do much to save the home at 5102 Bennoch Road when the call came in at 8:56 p.m. Saturday, Baker said.
The first pumper-tanker to arrive, at 9:08 p.m., found the house almost fully engulfed in flames and its occupants and pets outside, Baker said.
“It was totally involved because it had started underneath and spread and the windows were totally black when we first got there so we could not see inside,” Baker said Sunday. “When firefighters tried to gain entry, there was complete smoke inside and outside.”
The first interior attack team got somewhat inside the front door before smoke, flames and exploding propane cylinders somewhere inside the two-story structure drove them back, Baker said.
“Once we knew we would be unable to go inside, we pulled back out and assumed a defensive posture,” he said.
Firefighters saved a camper and trailer from being more than slightly damaged by the flames, Baker said.
The homeowner told firefighters that he had been upstairs in the living room of the house when he heard smoke alarms sounding in the garage, which was downstairs. He came upstairs, someone called 911, and he and his wife escaped with their pets, Baker said.
Firefighters do not know what started the blaze. Baker expressed gratitude at the volunteers’ response, which he said was especially quick, particularly with Alton, which was sent to the fire when LaGrange was.