Blaze destroys home

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FARMINGTON – A family of four was left homeless when their Croswell Street home was gutted by fire Tuesday afternoon.

Nearly 50 firefighters responded to the Farmington Falls fire, which was reported at 2:44 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Clyde Ross said. The property at 144 Croswell St. was owned by 19-year-old Josh Conkey, Ross said.

Flames had engulfed the house by the time the Farmington department arrived, he said. “It was pretty much internally gutted,” he said.

The fire seems to have started near the laundry area or kitchen, Ross said. The cause is under investigation.

It must have started quickly, onlooker Amanda Thaller, 23, said. She and her firefighter fiancé Tory Mooar passed the location a few minutes before the department was called, and didn’t see a thing. “My fiancé can detect flames from almost anywhere,” she said.

Looking at the scene – firetrucks lining the street surrounding the small house – onlooker Steve Grigsby noted it seemed like overkill to have so many firefighters respond to a fire in such a small house.

Ross explained the reason. “Keep in mind,” he said, “the only water source is from tanker or shuttle trucks.” Tanker trucks, other trucks, and firefighters from Temple, Wilton, New Sharon, Chesterville and Jay all helped, he said.

“We needed those tanker trucks,” Ross said. “We had good water supply and good support.”

Nobody was injured in the blaze, Ross said.

Conkey, his unidentified girlfriend, a 2-year-old child and a 2-month-old baby were out of the house when the fire started.

“The Red Cross will be dealing with these people shortly,” he said. “They lost everything in there.”

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