Human remains were found in the rubble of this fire that occurred on Saturday morning in Somerville. Hunters saw the smoke and reported the fire. (Courtesy of Maine Department of Public Safety)

A body was found after a house fire in Somerville on Saturday, Oct. 30.

Five fire departments responded to a structure fire at 471 Crummet Mountain Rd. at around 7:26 a.m.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office found human remains, according to a Oct. 30 news release from the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The investigators were unable to identify the remains at the scene, but Somerville Fire Chief Mike Dostie confirmed by phone on Oct 31 that they belong to 72-year-old Ian Baston, who lived alone at the house. Dostie said fire was the cause of death.

The fire was called in by hunters who saw the smoke and initially thought it was a large brush fire, Dostie said. The hunters reported hearing a continuous car horn and upon further investigation found the three-story structure already fully involved.

Dostie was at the scene in 10 minutes and found the post-and-beam home collapsed. He said the fire may have been burning for approximately two hours before it was discovered; it burned hot enough to split the stone steps at the front of the house.

“It had to be very hot for quite a while,” he said.

Dostie called for the fire marshal when he saw the truck in the driveway. He knew Baston,  knew he was not a hunter and suspected he may not have escaped.

The Windsor Fire Department was the first pumper on the scene and fire fighters attacked the fire from the front, according to Dostie.  Jefferson firefighters worked the back of the building.

Water was shuttled four miles from the closest hydrant to the scene. Dostie said water was resupplied as quickly as it was used. The fire burned an approximately 20-foot area around the perimeter of the house.

Thirty-two firefighters and eight trucks responded.

“I thought it was a great turnout since it was the first day of hunting,” Dostie said. He thanked all the firefighters who he said dropped everything to come.

The  cause of the fire is undetermined and the extent of the damage makes it unlikely that a cause will be determined in the future, according to Dostie.