BOWDOIN, Maine — A family of four escaped a fire Saturday morning that destroyed their home on Lewis Hill Road and claimed the life of one of the family’s three dogs.
Firefighters were called to 687 Lewis Hill Road at 7:17 a.m. Saturday for a structure fire. Bowdoin Fire Chief Tom Garrepy said when he arrived, the front of the porch and and the house were on fire. In the rural area far from any hydrant district, firefighters were challenged to get water and manpower to the scene, he said.
An engine arrived with enough personnel to establish two lines of hose, but after several minutes the firefighters ran out of water and waited for tankers from Richmond, Bowdoinham, Litchfield and Lisbon to arrive.
“The fire was well seated before we even had a chance to start working on it,” Garrepy said. “By the time we got everything set up, the house was fully involved. We went to a defensive mode.”
Karen Brown, sons Connor, 14, and Keegan, 12, and Brown’s fiancé, Andy Riordan, all escaped the building without injury.
Connor Brown said his mom and brother heard the crackling of fire and woke the family.
Asleep in his bedroom at the corner of the house, Connor ran from the burning home still in his shorts and T-shirt. Riordan got two of the family’s dogs, a 1-year-old springer spaniel and an older black lab, out of the house in time, but Sky, 1-year-old red hound mix, died in the fire.
Karen Brown said she has family nearby to stay with, and the American Red Cross was called to the scene. She said she has no idea what caused the fire.
Garrepy said the fire does not appear suspicious. Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office were expected to be on scene Monday.