A family dog that escaped a Chesterville house fire on Thursday gave birth to a litter of puppies as firefighters fought the blaze.

Firefighters from half a dozen area towns responded Thursday night to the fire at a single-story home on Sanborn Hill Road, according to the Livermore Falls Advertiser.

The home’s owner, Gary Welch, was not home at the time, and the fire has left him homeless, the Advertiser reported.

While firefighters fought the blaze, a German shepherd that escaped the home gave birth to puppies underneath a fire truck, the paper reported.

The Maine fire marshal’s office told the paper that a cause for the fire could not be determined due to the extensive damage to the Sanborn Hill Road home.

Chesterville firefighters were assisted by the Farmington, Fayette, New Sharon, Temple and Wilton fire departments.

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