SEBEC, Maine — Fueled by high winds, a fire on Saturday destroyed four buildings off Route 16 and left a pastor and his wife homeless despite the efforts of firefighters from seven towns to save the structures, officials said Sunday.
Firefighters from Milo, Sebec and neighboring towns worked for about eight hours to douse flames that consumed a two-story farmhouse, attached two-car garage and two nearby barns, Sebec Assistant Fire Chief Chris Knowles said.
The fire appeared to have started in the garage and spread quickly into the main dwelling. Winds then propelled it to a barn about 30 feet away and another barn behind it, Knowles said.
The fire was reported at about 1:45 p.m. The first firefighters arrived on scene within seven minutes and called for mutual aid immediately, Knowles said.
“You have high winds and embers are going everywhere. The garage had old firewood and new firewood in them, diesel fuels,” Knowles said Sunday. “It just got really hot, really big and really fast. No matter how much water you had, you weren’t stopping it.”
“Heat and flames just overtook everything,” he added.
Milo Fire Department contributed two pumpers and a rescue vehicle, a firefighter there said.
Knowles declined to identify the couple, but said they appeared to be elderly and that the man is a pastor at Sebec Corner Church. Calls to the church were not immediately returned Sunday.
The two victims are being sheltered by relatives, he said.
“They lost everything,” Knowles said.
Firefighters notified the Maine fire marshal’s office but arson is not suspected. The farmhouse was fairly modern, about 30 years old, while the barns were at least 60 years old, Knowles said.
No injuries were reported.
Sebec is a Piscataquis County town about 5 miles west of Brownville and Milo and borders Sebec Lake. It has a population of about 630, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.