February 4

New Gloucester home badly damaged by fire

A baby sitter gets out safely with a 4-year-old child after reporting smoke and a possible problem with a wood stove.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A fast-spreading chimney fire badly damaged a home at 177 Pond Road in New Gloucester on Tuesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the house at about 9 a.m. after a baby sitter reported smoke filling the house and a possible problem with a wood-burning stove. The baby sitter and the 4-year-old child she was watching got out safely.

Capt. Scott Doyle was the first one there and was brought into the house by a neighbor. The two could see flames behind a wall through which the stove pipe passed to access the chimney, he said.

Doyle moved his vehicle out of the 500-foot driveway to make room for the two engines, tanker and rescue vehicle that were on the way. By the time he ran back up to the house, it was fully on fire.

“It was remarkable” how fast the fire spread, he said. The house is older construction, which may have contributed to the spread of the fire, he said.

Doyle summoned assistance from Poland, Gray and Raymond. In all, 25 firefighters helped battle the blaze, he said.

Nobody was injured. The structure is still standing but the house is uninhabitable, he said.

The resident, Dusty Wallace, who lives there with his two children, 4 and 6, was not home at the time of the fire. The Red Cross is helping with emergency shelter and clothing. Thee family did not have insurance, Doyle said.

According to town tax records, the house located at 177 Pond Road was worth $15,700.

Doyle said trucks had difficulty getting up the long icy driveway, and one truck slipped on the icy surface. He encouraged residents to make sure their driveways are accessible to emergency apparatus.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

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