The Peaks Island community is rallying around a family who lost their home last week to a fast-moving fire.

Biff and Mary Herbert, longtime Peaks residents, lost all of their possessions, including a sailboat and a vehicle, in a fire last Thursday. The fire spread across the property before it was contained by Portland firefighters.

A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $60,000 to help them recover.

“We appreciate their years of island kindness, lending a quiet, private hand to so many of us, in our times of need,” wrote a long-time friend, Grace Noonan-Kaye, in her fundraising appeal. “This is our chance to support them in their time of need.”

Firefighters say the cause and origin of the blaze cannot be determined because of the extent of the damage.

The blaze sent about 20 firefighters from the mainland scrambling to the island as a column of smoke wafted above the harbor Thursday afternoon. The home was leveled by the fire, and the family’s van and a sail boat were also destroyed.

The Herberts declined an interview request, but Noonan-Kaye wrote in the appeal that Biff Herbert was burned as he escaped the flames. The fire department said no one else was injured.

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