LIVERMORE — The cause of a fire that heavily damaged a house attached to the closed Carriage House Cafe on Route 4 Tuesday night was caused by a faulty wood stove installation, Chris Stanford, an investigator from the State Fire Marshal's Office, said Wednesday.
The fire started in the wall behind the wood stove in the living room on the first floor, he said.
Livermore fire Chief Don Castonguay estimated damage to the building at more than $30,000.
Holes had to be cut in the roof and there was water and smoke damage throughout the older, two-story, post-and-beam, cape-style house, he said.
The restaurant was not touched, owner Michael Weaver said Wednesday.
The fire spread up through the walls to the peak of the house, he said.
Weaver, who was home at the time of the fire, estimated damage at more than $100,000. He was unsure if the property was insured, he said.
When firefighters arrived at the scene at about 9 p.m. they had to remove Weaver for his own safety, Castonguay said.
“We had to pull the owner out of there,” Castonguay said. “He was trying to put out the fire with fire extinguishers” and was not successful.
“I built the house and I didn't want to lose it,” Weaver said. “I've done a lot of work here.”
Another occupant of the house was outside when firefighters arrived, Castonguay said.
Weaver said the plan is to try to fix the house.
Firefighters were able to lay tarps over some of the items in the house to try and limit damage.
In the past two months, Weaver had received his liquor renewal application and special amusement permit from the town. He hadn't submitted the renewal for the liquor license to the state as of Wednesday but planned to do so to reopen the restaurant in the spring, he said.
The property is currently considered residential by the town and not commercial, Weaver said.
The cafe has been closed for several months.
More than 40 firefighters from Canton, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Jay and Turner responded to fight the blaze. Wilton firefighters also responded as a rapid intervention team in case a firefighter inside the house was hurt.
No one was injured, Castonguay said.
Firefighters fought frigid temperatures and high winds to get the blaze out. A couple of hose lines and nozzles froze but the trucks stayed running. The wind was blowing the smoke right at firefighters and made it more difficult for them to do their jobs, Castonguay said.
The fire was hard to get at because the fire was in the walls and the house has been remodeled several times, he said.
“The biggest problem was digging it out. It was entrenched in the walls,” he said.
Water was shuttled from a dry hydrant at Brettuns Pond but not much water was used, he said.
Firefighters wrapped up at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, he said.