June 29, 2013

Fire destroys couple’s 1800s-era farmhouse

Kennebec Journal

DRESDEN – A Cedar Grove Road couple are homeless after fire ripped through their 1800s farmhouse on Saturday.

Fire Chief Steven Lilly said nobody was hurt, but the three-story home at 406 Cedar Grove Road was leveled by the blaze, which took firefighters from a dozen communities several hours to control.

Online town tax records indicate the property is owned by James L. and Louise A. Crawson. Lilly said the couple, whom he estimated to be in their 50s, lived alone in the home. Lilly said he believes the home is insured.

The fire apparently started in an ell kitchen near the woodshed. Lilly said the fire’s cause is unknown. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was not called to investigate, he said.

A family member arrived shortly after the fire started to help the couple, Lilly said. The Fire Department called the Red Cross to help provide clothing and shelter.

The fire was reported around 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The couple, home at the time, were able to get out of the house safely, Lilly said. The back ell of the home was engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived. The fire quickly spread to the rest of the house, Lilly said.

Firefighters from Alna, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Litchfield, Newcastle, Pittston, Richmond, West Bath, Westport Island, Wiscasset and Woolwich joined Dresden crews in battling the blaze.

“Most of that was for water,” Lilly said. “Most of them were tankers.”

He said it took about three hours to bring the fire under control. Crews remained on scene until 4 p.m.

The humidity and heat compounded the difficulty, Lilly said. He said crews took turns resting and drinking water.

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