Video: Fire destroys Rangeley home

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RANGELEY — A fire that destroyed a house early Thursday morning was caused by improperly disposed ashes from a fireplace, Fire Chief Tim Pellerin said.

Homeowners Robert and Carol Hunt and a couple of dogs escaped the fire at 72 Skyland Drive without injury, he said. A cat was lost.

The ashes were apparently left on the deck of the log home, which had a breezeway and a three-car garage, Pellerin said.

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Estimated damage to the structures is $450,000 and personal property loss is estimated at $150,000, he said. Hunt does tile work and his tools and equipment were in the garage, Pellerin said.

“This is the third or fourth fire we’ve had due to improperly discarded ashes,” the chief said.

He said people should put ashes in a covered, metal container and put the container away from any structure, not on a porch or deck. 

A little after 3 a.m., Carol Hunt told Pellerin, she heard a noise that sounded like glass breaking and went downstairs to check. Fire was coming into the house from the front porch through a window. 

She called her husband, and the couple got out through the garage with the fire following them, Pellerin said.

By the time firefighters arrived, the house was engulfed in flames. The couple lost everything, Pellerin said. Friends were helping them Thursday.

He said the house was insured. 

With temperatures as low as 10 degrees below zero, firefighters struggled with water and hose issues, Pellerin said. They had to truck water about 5 miles to the burning house and hoses were freezing into the ground.

Skyland Drive is a dead-end dirt road off Loon Lake Road, not far from Rangeley Lakes Regional School. The house was the last one on the left, the chief said.

He said about 50 firefighters responded from Phillips, Eustis, Salem Township, Strong and Carrabassett Valley.

abryant@sunmediagroup.net

A three-alarm fire destroyed a home in Rangeley early Thursday morning. (Tim Pellerin photo)

A three-alarm fire destroyed a home in Rangeley early Thursday morning. (Tim Pellerin photo)

A three-alarm fire destroyed a home in Rangeley early Thursday morning. (Tim Pellerin photo)

A three-alarm fire destroyed a home in Rangeley early Thursday morning. (Tim Pellerin photo)

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