An investigation is underway into what caused a fire that destroyed a farmhouse in Windham last week.

Late Thursday night, Dec. 15, flames consumed a two-story residence at 237 Pope Road, owned by Kim Gallant, sparing only the barn and a small office space.

Though Gallant is still reeling from the bizarre circumstances surrounding the fire, she is thankful that no one was home at the time of the incident and is planning to rebuild the historic 1800s farmhouse she fell in love with.

“I’m still really numb,” Gallant said. “I’m just waiting to wake up from this nightmare.”

Gallant, who recently bought the house, planned to move in after Christmas with her two young boys, 5-year-old Trevor and 3-year-old Cutter.

After working to remodel the interior on the day of the fire, she and her boys returned that evening to their condominium currently for sale on Provost Drive.

Around midnight, a neighbor spotted the fire from across the street and called E-911. Windham Fire/Rescue arrived shortly thereafter and led an all-night defensive fight to suppress the fire alongside Westbrook, Raymond and Standish Fire Departments.

Windham Fire/Rescue made two trips back to the house the next day to extinguish small smoldering fires in the attic caused by embers and old insulation.

The cause of the fire and point of origin is yet unknown, however an eyewitness said the fire appeared to begin in the kitchen.

At 12:30 a.m., neighbor Jennalee Curit awakened to the sound of fire trucks outside. Looking out the upstairs window, she saw a fire in the farmhouse kitchen that “blew outward” to incinerate the rest of the house.

“It was completely engulfed in flames and tons of smoke,” Jennalee said. “It was crazy.”

Jennalee’s father, real estate agent Randall Curit, recently bought and subdivided the land including the farmhouse property. He and his family lived in the farmhouse for a brief time last spring while renovating their new house next door. This past fall, Curit sold the farmhouse to Gallant.

“It’s too bad because they had just finished remodeling the inside,” Curit said.

Gallant said all of her custom-made furniture, bedding, clothes and a few Christmas gifts were destroyed in the fire.

However, while inspecting the house with her insurance agent and fire inspectors, Gallant found her late father’s Masonic wristwatch intact dangling from a nail. Gallant believes this is a sign that her father was watching out for her and her family.

In another bizarre turn-of-events, Gallant had her future read by a friend with Tarot cards a few days before the fire. Coincidentally, the “tower card” was drawn, a card that depicts a tower on fire. Though she didn’t take “much stock” in it then, she now is having second thoughts.

“I’m usually not superstitious at all, but I might be now,” Gallant said.

She also planned to move into the farmhouse on Dec. 12 before her stepfather advised her to wait until after Christmas.

Gallant purchased the house as a “new start” for her family and said the instant she walked into the farmhouse “it felt like home.”

And so she hopes to remove what was destroyed and start anew.

“The barns still there,” Gallant said. “I’d like to replicate what it once was. I fell in love with it for a reason.”

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