POLAND — A mother and her two children were left homeless today after a fire swept through their home off Harris Hill Road in the town of Poland.

Poland Fire Chief Mark Bosse said the family was not at home when a neighbor reported seeing heavy black smoke pouring from the wood-framed, split-level residence.

The home is set back in the woods, making it hard to see from the main road, which is about 900 feet away.

By the time firefighters arrived – the fire was reported shortly after noon – the home was engulfed in flames and not much could be done to save the structure.

“The fire had a big jump start on us,” Bosse said.

When the family arrived, Bosse said, the mother became “overwhelmed” with shock and was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston.

Bosse said the family – whose name is not being released – will be staying with relatives. They lost everything, including their dog, in the fire. They do not have renter’s insurance.

The cause of the fire, which remains under investigation, may have been caused by an electrical malfunction, Bosse said. More than 40 firefighters from 10 communities responded to the fire at 31 Harris Hill Road.