HIRAM – A fast-moving fire at 19 River Road left a family of four without a home Sunday.

Assistant Chief Jim Siracuse estimated that the home was totaled in the fire.

“Even though the structure is still standing, the home is unfortunately gutted,” he said Sunday night.

The blaze was called in around 11:45 a.m. by a rescue unit responding to a car crash in Parsonsfield. The rescue crew passed by the single-family residence and noticed the flames.

According to Siracuse, when Cornish fire crews, who assisted with the fire, arrived first on the scene, the home was fully involved.

“The flames were able to spread rapidly for two reasons: It’s not a real large home and the structure is wood,” explained Siracuse.

Also assisting with the fire were Limington and Kezar Falls fire departments.

Limington responded with its innovative compressed air foam system.

“In a rural area like ours, getting enough water can be an issue when fighting a fire,” Siracuse said. “This new type of foam allows us to use only a third of the water we would usually consume.”

The Lewis family, which rents the home, was not home at the time of the fire. Siracuse didn’t believe they had renter’s insurance.

“At this time of year, a fire like this one is especially heart-felt,” Siracuse said.

There were pet rabbits on the property during the fire, but they escaped without harm. Neighbors were caring for the pets Sunday night.

Siracuse did not speculate on the cause of the blaze, but did say that there was no evidence of a Christmas tree in the home.

Siracuse said he expected to meet with a State Fire Marshal’s Office representative today to investigate the cause of the fire.

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