BOWDOINHAM — A family of four lost their home when a fire of unknown origin destroyed their residence at 53 Carding Machine Road early Sunday morning.

The town’s fire chief,  Arthur Frizzle, said the 2.5-story wood structure with an attached three-car garage was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Frizzle said the roof had collapsed, which limited firefighters’ chances of saving any portion of the home’s interior.

Frizzle said the family was out of town on a camping trip when the fire broke out around 5:45 a.m. A pet rabbit died in the fire, but two dogs escaped safely.

The dogs were forced to wait on a lawn near the burning home because the property is encircled by an invisible fence.

Frizzle said the home was destroyed. The fire appears to have started in the basement. The State Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating the cause.

The Mid Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross in Topsham said a volunteer from the Red Cross met with the family and helped them with food, shelter and clothing needs.

Fire crews from seven surrounding towns helped Bowdoinham fight the fire. No injuries were reported.

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