Fire destroyed a home on Florence Lane in Standish on Monday afternoon and likely took the life of a family pet.

Firefighters were dispatched to 14 Florence Lane around 2:45 p.m. for a report of smoke coming from a mobile home, Public Safety Director Rob Caron said in an email. Firefighters arrived six minutes later to find the home completely engulfed in flames, he said.

Because of a “huge lack of manpower,” Caron said, firefighters from Baldwin, Limington, Sebago, Gorham and Windham were called to assist at the scene, while crews from Raymond, Cornish and Buxton covered their stations.

The fire was under control within an hour, but the home was a total loss, Caron said. None of the four family members who lived there was home at the time, but they believe their dog died in the fire.

Caron said the cause of the fire remains under investigation and the American Red Cross is helping the family find shelter and meet basic needs.

Caron didn’t respond when asked why Standish Fire/EMS is short-staffed and currently seeking new on-call company members. Some departments have lost employees who refused to comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and most had difficulty hiring firefighters and paramedics even before the pandemic.

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