One house burns, second is saved


DIXFIELD – A wind-swept grass fire destroyed one house early Wednesday evening at 435 Common Road, but was prevented from burning a second home by about 40 firefighters from five departments, Dixfield fire Chief Scott Dennett said late Wednesday night.

Two firefighters fighting the grass fire suffered smoke inhalation, but were treated at the scene by Med-Care Ambulance medics, he added.

“That wind was a pretty strong factor,” Dennett said of the fire that began on grass surrounding the unoccupied 1-story box-type house owned by Delia Thurston.

The fire is believed to have started near the house when high winds caused scrub trees to rub against a power line, he said.

That may have sparked a fire that ignited debris and grass in a small gully, he said.

“Something from that may have been brought up in the wind toward the house. The house was fully involved by the time we got there,” he said. The house is six miles from Dixfield’s fire station.

After the fire burned Thurston’s house, it headed for a second home 100 yards away “traveling pretty fast on the ground” and jumping a stone wall to get there, Dennett said.

But firefighters from Dixfield, East Dixfield, Mexico, Peru and Rumford saved the second house. “It got right up next to the house, but there was no damage to it,” Dennett said.

Firefighters remained on the scene until shortly after 9 p.m.