SANFORD – A fire that started in the kitchen of a single family home at 21 Putnam St. in Sanford destroyed the residence and killed two dogs that were trapped inside.

The home’s owner, Robert Mahoney, was as not at home when the fire broke out around 12:52 p.m. Sunday. A neighbor notified the Sanford Fire Department after spotting smoke coming out of the two-story structure.

Capt. Paul Morrison of the Sanford Fire Department said Mahoney was attending an out of state memorial service for a relative when a fire erupted in the kitchen area.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames in the kitchen when they arrived. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Morrison said the home suffered extensive fire and smoke damage and is not livable. The homeowner told fire crews that he would be able to stay with friends.