Sunday, May 19, 2013
FAIRFIELD — A fire caused by faulty electrical wiring damaged a home Wednesday at 567 Norridgewock Road, according to Chief Duane Bickford.
Nicholas Quimby, a firefighter with Norridgewock cuts a hole in the wall while battling a house fire at 567 Norridgewock Rd in Fairfield Wednesday afternoon.
Staff photo/Michael G. Seamans
Don Sargent, 53, who rents the single-story, wood-frame house, said he was snowblowing his driveway and when he entered the house, he smelled an electrical problem.
“As soon as I went in I said, ‘Something isn’t right,’” Sargent recalled, as he watched firefighters work Wednesday afternoon. “I shut off the electricity right away and called 911.”
Sargent lived in the home with his girlfriend, Rhonda Holcomb, 52.
About 25 firefighters from four towns — Fairfield, Oakland, Waterville and Norridgwock — responded to the scene, as did Fairfield police.
Bickford said the fire, reported at 1:09 p.m., started in the attic.
“The house is uninhabitable. The roof is destroyed,” Bickford said later, at 3:40 p.m.
“The Red Cross is going to help them with a place to stay. We were able to get quite a bit of stuff out. Of course, they lost furniture. Bedrooms at either end of the house were relatively untouched.”
Firefighters around 1:30 p.m. worked to tear ceilings down to get access to the fire.
“It’s stubborn,” Bickford said at the scene. “We’re trying to pull all the ceilings to get to it.”
Smoke rolled across the snow-covered roof as firefighters worked.
Sargent’s eyes filled with tears as he stood with his son, Simon Lizska, 20, of Norridgewock, near the garage.
A chef at Best Western in Waterville, Sargent said he has lived in the house about five years. While he said he was not insured for his belongings, he thinks his landlord, Kevin Gower, had house insurance. Gower, an evangelist, was working in Florida Wednesday, according to Sargent.
Sargent said firefighters arrived quickly and went to work.
“A police officer happened to be down the road; he was here within minutes,” Sargent said.
The house is recognizable because of a dummy that stands in front it at the mailbox, dressed in a soldier’s uniform and holding an American flag. Sargent, whose son, Donny, is in the military, dresses the dummy in soldiers’ uniforms to honor them, he said.
Amy Calder — 861-9247