Frigid temperatures hampered the efforts of firefighters to put out a stubborn house fire in New Gloucester Friday morning, a fire official said.

Capt. Scott Doyle of New Gloucester Fire and Rescue said the call about the fire at 14 Golden Way was made shortly before 11 a.m.

When firefighters from New Gloucester and Gray arrived, Doyle said, the house was completely ablaze.

Doyle said the owner of the home beside Sabbathday Lake told firefighters he was using a portable heater to thaw out water pipes in the basement of the structure and may have let too much time elapse between checking on the process. The homeowner saw smoke coming from the basement and Doyle said it was likely that wooden beams or other material near the water pipes caught fire.

The firefighting effort was hampered by strong winds coming off the lake, fanning the flames, and the cold causing pumps on some of the firetrucks to freeze. Doyle said he believes the temperature was at or below zero while firefighters tried to put out the flames.

“Most of the walls had to be cut open to gain access to the fire,” he said. “It traveled in difficult places that took us time to access.”

No one was hurt, Doyle said, but the home was a total loss. He estimated it would cost at least $150,000 to rebuild.

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