Fire destroyed a garage at 32 Black Brook Drive in Somerville early Saturday, March 21, but firefighters saved the nearby house and barn.
The family that lives in the house exited safely when the fire started in the garage. Several animals in the barn survived as well.
The Lincoln County Communications Center dispatched firefighters at 2:46 a.m. Somerville Fire Chief Mike Dostie said firefighters faced a unique challenge getting to the scene, as the road was “all mud and ice.”
“We were only able to get one line up there and the other trucks parked at the end of the road and started feeding us water,” Dostie said. “Everyone else had to walk into the scene, so it was quite a haul when you had your pack on and everything.”
Firefighters arrived within 11 minutes of the page. The garage was fully engulfed, Dostie said, and only 10 feet from the house. The family was outside the home.
“My worst nightmare is when it’s a fire in the night and you don’t know if anyone is inside, but everyone was outside when we got there,” Dostie said. “I have to thank the comm center, because they told the family exactly what to do and gave us good directions to get there.”
Firefighters immediately started pushing the flames away from the house and were able to save the house and barn.
Adding to the challenge of the fire were two 250-gallon propane tanks inside the garage, as well as a propane tank next to the house. Dostie said firefighters were able to keep the flames away from the tank on the exterior of the house, but the two tanks inside released, causing sudden waves of heat.
“It was like having a flamethrower in there,” Dostie said.
Three vehicles, a snowmobile, and a generator were lost in the blaze, but firefighters were able to save a 1947 tractor and the animals in the barn, Dostie said.
The Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office visited the scene with Dostie on Monday, March 23 in an effort to determine the cause of the fire. Due to the amount of damage, however, the cause is undetermined, Dostie said.
In addition to Somerville, the Jefferson, Washington, Whitefield, and Windsor fire departments responded. Dostie said a total of 40 firefighters responded.
“I cannot say enough to thank the mutual aid,” Dostie said. “It didn’t make a difference what department you were on. It was like having one fire department there, everyone worked togethe