MECHANIC FALLS — A Mechanic Falls man and his son lost their Route 121 home in a wind-driven fire of undetermined origin Monday afternoon.
Lou Goulet and his son were not home when the blaze was reported at 1:30 p.m. by a passer-by, Mechanic Falls Fire Department Deputy Chief Matt Fifield said.
He estimated the loss at about $150,000 and said Goulet had no insurance on the 2-story wood-framed house. The American Red Cross was finding accommodations for the family for the night, he said.
“Yeah, it's an unfortunate situation,” Fifield said.
About two dozen firefighters from five departments responded to the scene, which was across Route 121 from the intersection with Spring Street.
Fifield said his department was on a call in Poland when the fire broke. After getting to the scene, they were joined by firefighters from Poland, Oxford, Minot and Auburn.
Chief Mark Bosse of Poland Fire and Rescue said flames were shooting from the back of the building when his crew arrived.
High winds made fighting the fire difficult. Flames quickly spread throughout the building and flared up even after that section of the house was doused.
A Mechanic Falls tower truck was shooting a stream from its water cannon. Fifield confirmed that two hydrants were utilized and that ample water and manpower just were not enough enough against the wind-driven flames.
An investigator from the Fire Marshal's Office arrived just after 2 p.m., worked well into the evening and will return Tuesday to continue the search for a cause.
A portion of Route 121, which is also Pleasant Street, was shut down to accommodate the firefighting equipment.