A woman, two dogs and two cats escaped a two-alarm fire at 9 Haley Road in Berwick on Tuesday morning that destroyed a garage and left the home with extensive smoke and fire damage.

Deborah Whitman was roused by her smoke alarm at 6 a.m. and saw that the garage attached to her house was in flames, said Fire Chief Dennis Plante.

She was able to escape along with most of her pets, though one cat died in the fire.

Berwick firefighters were joined by nine fire companies from surrounding communities and brought the fire under control in about an hour. They remained at the scene until after 1 p.m. making sure it was out and searching for a cause.

Plante said the cause has not been determined and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

When Whitman fled the house, the temperature was 3 degrees, Plante said. The extreme cold led to icing at the fire scene but fortunately nobody was injured and none of the pumps froze, he said.

Whitman is being helped by family members who live in the area, Plante said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com