STARKS — Eight people are homeless after a fire Monday afternoon knocked down their uninsured mobile home on Kimball Lane, leaving them without almost all of their belongings.

“Everything’s done,” said Deborah Ashby, who owned the home at 61 Kimball Lane with her husband, Larry Ashby. “It’s flat. There’s nothing left for us to salvage. Nothing.”

The couple lived at the mobile home with an addition with their son and daughter-in-law and that couple’s two boys, aged 2 and 3; another son, who is 13 years old; and Larry Ashby’s brother, who had been in the process of moving out.

The home down a dirt road was the site of Larry Ashby’s business, Ashby’s Towing, which also was damaged in the fire.

Deborah Ashby said no one was home at the time the fire started, around 12:30 p.m. Monday. Her father, who lives down the road, heard a “pop” and went up on a four-wheeler to check out what was happening.

Larry Ashby, right, looks over the ruins of his mobile home on Kimball Lane in Starks, which a fire destroyed on Monday. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

Deborah Ashby, right, and her son Glenn Nickerson and others walk down Kimball Lane in Starks past firefighters after fire destroyed her mobile home on Monday. Morning Sentinel photo by David Leaming

“He thought we were in the house,” she said. “Everything was engulfed. He came flying back down and called the Fire Department.”


Ashby said she was in Skowhegan paying bills and visiting her aunt when she got the phone call about the fire.

She said she thinks the cause of the fire was electrical and said the family had been having electrical problems for about the last year.

Starks Fire Chief Bill Pressey declined to comment on the fire or a possible cause. “I leave that to the families,” he said.

The Ashby family was in the midst of building another home on the same property, but the inside isn’t finished yet and there is no roof. For the next few days, Deborah Ashby said, the American Red Cross will pay for them to be able to stay in a hotel.

In addition to all their personal belongings, the family also lost six kittens — four that were 3 months old and two that were 7 months old.

“The boys are going to need toys, blankets, furniture, everything,” Deborah Ashby said. “There’s nothing left.”

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