Officials say the amount of damage makes identifying a cause impossible.

RUMFORD – A fire that destroyed a South Rumford Road home, barn and shed Thursday night started in the detached barn.

Rumford Deputy Chief Richard Coulombe said the place of origin has been determined but the cause will never be known because of the extent of the damage.

The blaze that started at around 6 p.m. Thursday rapidly destroyed the barn, a detached shed and most of the one-and-a-half-story, wood-frame home owned by Joe and June Roy.

When their teenage son, Matt, attempted to douse the fire, he received minor burns to his hand, said Coulombe. He was treated at the scene by Med-Care Ambulance Service.

The Roys’ horses, chickens and dogs all escaped the flames. On Wednesday, the animals were housed in the one outbuilding that was not destroyed by the fire.

The Roys, too, were at the scene, looking over the mess, and trying to decide what steps to take next.

Joe Roy said he plans to take down the remainder of the house still standing. For the next two weeks, the family will stay at Madison Motor Inn, cost free, an offer made to them by the motel’s owners, said June Roy. They will decide their next steps soon.

The family was at home late Thursday afternoon when the fire broke out. Dozens of firefighters from Rumford, Mexico, Andover, Woodstock and Peru answered the call. Dixfield firefighters stood by at the Rumford fire station. Brisk winds blowing from the nearby Androscoggin River fed the fast moving flames.

Coulombe estimated the loss of the buildings at about $48,000 and the value of the contents at about $10,000. The Roys had insurance for all buildings.

Firefighters were at the scene for nearly five hours, leaving at about 10:30 p.m.

This was the first major structure fire the Rumford Fire Department has been called to since the devastating downtown blaze last May that destroyed Wardwell’s on Congress Street.

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