Firefighters direct water onto the remains of a home in North Berwick on Monday. The town’s deputy fire chief said the call came in a little after 1 p.m. and no one was at home at the time of the blaze. Eight departments responded to the fire. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Firefighters from Maine and New Hampshire battled a fire that gutted a 2 1/2-story house Monday afternoon in North Berwick.

The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. at 331 Somersworth Road, also known as Route 9. Heavy fire was visible in building when firefighters arrived and the department struck a third alarm.

Larry Straffin, deputy chief of the North Berwick Fire Department, said no one was at home when the fire started.

A tower truck pours water into the center of the house that burned Monday in North Berwick. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Tankers and forestry units from eight surrounding towns, including Dover and Rollinsford, New Hampshire, assisted the North Berwick Fire Department on the scene and by providing station coverage.

Straffin said strong winds prevented the fire from spreading too deeply into some nearby woods, though a few small forest fires needed to be tamped down. Winds, however, accelerated the fire’s spread into the home, which had some sort of business, he said.

Straffin said the State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause.

Firefighters direct water onto what remains of the home in North Berwick on Monday. Strong winds accelerated the fire’s spread into the home, said Deputy Fire Chief Larry Straffin.  Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Route 9 was closed from Route 4 to Old Route 9 while crews battled the blaze.

No other details were immediately available.

Staff Photographer Gregory Rec and Staff Writer Randy Billings contributed to this report. 

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