Fire trucks couldn't get through a snow-filled driveway to fight a fully involved structure fire that destroyed a home Tuesday night at 190 Hedge Bridge Road in Woolwich. PHOTO COURTESY OF WOOLWICH FIRE DEPARTMENT

Fire trucks couldn’t get through a snow-filled driveway to fight a fully involved structure fire that destroyed a home Tuesday night at 190 Hedge Bridge Road in Woolwich. PHOTO COURTESY OF WOOLWICH FIRE DEPARTMENT

WOOLWICH

Woolwich firefighters arrived at a house fire they couldn’t fight Tuesday night because they couldn’t get trucks down the unplowed driveway.

Woolwich Fire Captain Glen Kirkpatrick said firefighters were called to the fire at 190 Hedge Bridge Road at 8:56 p.m. The house was the last on the dead-end road which he estimated was 2.5 to 3 miles long. He was the first on scene and found the house fully involved, with fire shooting from every window. 

“The driveway was unplowed, approximately 1,500 feet, which made access via fire truck impossible,” Kirkpatrick said this morning. Firefighters walked in to the property and could do no more than monitor the fire. Within about a half hour on scene, the entire two-story house fully collapsed.

The homeowner was checked by EMS at the scene. Kirkpatrick didn’t have his name this morning. He said a cat and dog were lost in the fire. Armed with shovels, firefighters were able to save a shed near the house by shoveling snow on it.

“I’m glad I had shovels and one of  the firemen brought snowmobiles,” which then made getting around easier, Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick initially sounded a first alarm, drawing Bath, West Bath, Arrowsic, Georgetown, Dresden and Wiscasset fire departments, and called in Richmond. Jack Shaw and Sons Construction used a front end loader to plow some of the road but couldn’t get up the hill approaching the house. By that time, the fire was in the basement.

Given the lack of access, the captain canceled the alarm, clearing West Bath, Bath and Wiscasset as soon as they did arrive on scene. The homeowner has a tractor he normally plows the driveway with, which apparently couldn’t keep up with the snow so he parked his vehicle at the end of the driveway and walked in, Kirkpatrick said.

Woolwich firefighters cleared the scene at around midnight and the homeowner kept an eye on it overnight.

The fire isn’t considered suspicious. The state fire marshal’s office was notified but no investigation is anticipated given the extent of the damage. The cause of the fire is unknown and Kirkpatrick said there was a woodstove in the house. He did not know if the homeowner had insurance. 

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