MONTVILLE, Maine — Fundraising has ignited for a well-known local couple whose Hogback Mountain home was consumed by fire over the weekend despite the efforts of fire departments from seven Waldo and Kennebec county communities.
Firefighters got the call that Glenn and Sue Martin’s old farmhouse was on fire late Saturday afternoon, according to Karen York, public information officer for the Montville Volunteer Fire Department. The home was nearly a mile up the muddy, rutted Hogback Mountain Road from Route 220, where the firefighters set up a water tank and then laid enough large diameter hose to reach the burning building.
York said that firefighters believe the blaze may have begun in the home’s chimney.
“There was quite a bit of fire,” she said Monday. “It went quick. The house was a total loss.”
Crews from Montville, Freedom, Liberty, Searsmont, Belmont, Palermo and Albion worked for hours bringing water in from a source on Route 3 and pumping it up to the house. The fire departments from Thorndike, Brooks and Unity were on standby Saturday, and the Liberty Ambulance crew also came to the scene of the fire.
Neither residents nor firefighters were hurt during the blaze, York said.
“No injuries,” she said. “Knock on wood and thank you, Lord.”
By about 11 p.m., the firefighters had gone home, but the town’s desire to help the Martin family hasn’t stopped, according to local officials and community members. Family friend Will Neils said he believed the Martins did not have insurance, and two online fundraising campaigns to help the couple raised about $12,500 just in one day.
“They’re just great people, honest people, people with integrity,” Neils said. “People really respect Glenn and Susan. Those folks are such classic Mainers that I’m not sure I’ve heard them ask for anything, ever. That’s just the type of folks they are.”
York said other fundraising projects are in the works.
“There was a community meeting last evening at the Montville Grange, where a bunch of community members got together to see what these folks needed to get back on their feet,” she said.
Susan Shell, Montville administrative assistant, said Monday that a benefit dinner and auction will be held 4-8 p.m. Sunday, April 12 at the Liberty Community Hall. More events are likely forthcoming, Shell said.
To help the family, people can go to the Camden National Bank in Belfast and ask to deposit a check for Glenn and Sue Martin. They also can mail a check for the Martins to the Montville Town Office at 414 Center Road, Montville, 04941.