WHITEFIELD — Fire destroyed a barn and then moved to a house Tuesday on Hilton Road, within walking distance of the Whitefield Post Office.

The fire at 5 Hilton Road was reported at 4 p.m. The fire reportedly started in the barn, which apparently stored mulch hay, then reached the house with flames tracing the ridgepole of the peaked roof.

Dozens of firetrucks and multiple crews from Lincoln and Kennebec counties responded to fight the blaze, which produced a large plume of gray smoke. The dairy farm and home are owned by Mark and Pam Fenderson and occupied by them and their children, Olivia and Adam, neighbors said. No injuries were reported. The Fendersons reportedly took shelter at a neighbor’s home across the road.

At 8 p.m., Whitefield Fire Chief Scott Higgins said firefighters would be on the scene for at least several more hours.

“The barn is already down and the house is still standing, but barely,” he said, adding that he expected an excavator would have to bring down the remaining structure. Higgins said he was told that the cows and other farm animals were out back and not injured in the fire. Higgins said he was able to speak to one of the owners only briefly.

“It appears to have started in the barn area, but that’s a guess,” Higgins said.

He said it was fully in flames when firefighters arrived. A state fire marshal’s investigator is expected to be at the scene on Wednesday.

Police blocked off sections of Route 126 and Hilton Road as tanker trucks backed up to fill a temporary pool with water, then rolled away to bring more.

Firefighters aimed a wide stream of water at the structure even as a large plow truck dropped sand on the road to provide traction for the emergency vehicles.

This is the second major fire in Whitefield in a week. A fire on Mills Road during a blizzard on Jan. 27 left a family of 10 homeless. Many of the same firefighters also fought fires Sunday and Monday in the mutual-aid towns of Somerville and Jefferson.

One neighbor, Ashley Heath, put up pictures of the fire and a message on her Facebook page, Ashley Heath (Auggie), saying anyone who wishes to donate to the fire victims can contact her through that site.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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