Cause of East Dixfield fire determined accidental

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DIXFIELD — Investigators on Tuesday determined the cause of a fire that destroyed a house and barn at 8 Giles Road in East Dixfield was accidental, according to a State Fire Marshal investigator.

After working through the rubble, investigator Stu Jacobs said Tuesday afternoon that the fire apparently started around an electrical outlet in the living room.

Work was being done on Allen Cobb’s home because of a freeze and water damage that occurred earlier this month. Whether some equipment used by the repair company to dry out the house contributed to the electrical issue has not been determined yet, he said.

No one was home at the time of the 3:50 a.m. Monday fire. Flames 30 feet high were reported by Wilton fire Chief Sonny Dunham. The house, near the intersections of routes 2 and 17, was engulfed in flames when he arrived, Dunham said.

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Cobb and three children ages 12-15 lived at the home but were in and out because of the water damage, Jacobs said.

A portion of the porch and building roof collapsed as investigators worked Tuesday but no one was hurt, Jacobs said. An excavator was used to help move debris because it was not safe, he said.

Along with State Fire Marshal investigators, there were also investigators for an insurance company and an electrical expert at the scene.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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