RUMFORD – Fire officials aren’t sure of the cause of Thursday night’s devastating fire on the South Rumford Road. In fact, they may never know because of the devastation of the buildings.

At first, officials thought it was caused by an electrical fuse panel. But now, they aren’t so sure.

Deputy Chief Scott Holmes said Rumford Fire Department investigators were at the site on Friday, and so far, no cause has been found. However, he said they believe it may have started in the detached barn. It was burned to the ground, along with a nearby shed. The ell and main part of the house were also destroyed.

The home belongs to Joe and June Roy of 744 South Rumford Road. They and their son Matt got out OK, although Matt was treated at the scene by Med-Care Ambulance personnel for minor burns to his hands.

The blaze that started in the barn apparently jumped to the shed, then onto the house, aided by the swift breeze that was blowing from the nearby Androscoggin River.

The fire was called in at 6:18 p.m. Nearly three dozen Rumford firefighters were at the scene within 10 minutes or so, followed a few minutes later by another two dozen from the Mexico, Peru, Andover and Woodstock fire departments. Another 10 from the Dixfield Fire Co. stood by at the Rumford Fire Station.

Holmes could not estimate the amount of loss, or say whether the Roys were insured. The home and outbuildings, however, were a total loss.

None of the firefighters sustained injury. Three dogs and several horses and chickens owned by the Roys also were unharmed.

Although the department has answered numerous chimney, vehicle and grass fire calls over the past year, Holmes said the last major structure fire fought by the Rumford Fire Department was in May of last year. That was Wardwell’s in downtown Rumford, which has since been razed



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.