OTISFIELD – A fire that destroyed an Otisfield residence Thursday night was still being investigated Friday.

The two-story house on North Camp Road was owned by Randy Hicks, who was home with his girlfriend, Pam Harter, when the fire broke out. According to neighbors Lisa and Larry Neuts, Hicks suffered an injury getting out of the house and was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway.

The hospital confirmed that Hicks was admitted, but was unable to provide any other information.

A dog escaped the blaze, but a cat is missing and presumed dead.

Fire Chief Mike Hooker said Friday night that two firefighters also went to the hospital: one with a sprained knee suffered while walking up the road up to the fire; the other with heat exhaustion. They were identified as Al Haggerty and Don Mixer, both of Otisfield. They were treated and released, the chief said.

The roof, interior and one wall of the house were destroyed, and the remaining walls were burned and sagging. Fire investigators were on the scene Friday to determine the cause of the blaze, but Oxford Fire Chief Scott Hunter, who lives in Otisfield, said the extent of the destruction might make that a difficult task.

“The more you’ve got standing, the easier it is to find a cause,” he said.

The town had assessed the home at $113,900.

The fire was reported by neighbor Duane Kahkonen, Hooker said, about 8:50 p.m. Thursday. Due to the house’s position atop a hill, the fire was visible from the eastern shore of Lake Thompson, as well as Forrest Edwards Road, which leads to North Camp Road.

Firefighters from Otisfield, Oxford, Casco, Harrison and Naples responded, and by the time they arrived on the narrow dirt road, the house was engulfed in flames.

Due to muddy conditions on the narrow road, only two fire vehicles went up the road itself, stopping just short of the house. Emergency vehicles and the personal vehicles of volunteer responders crowded a long section of Forrest Edwards Road, and firefighters had to climb to the hill on foot or ride there via an all-terrain vehicle.

Water was delivered to the blaze via a “rural hitch” system, where a holding tank of water was constantly replenished by tankers and pumped via a hose to the scene. The tankers filled up at the town beach on Pleasant Lake.

“If this had happened a couple days ago, when it was wet, we wouldn’t have gotten engines up there,” Hooker said.

He estimated firetrucks got to within about 1,600 feet of the house before hoses had to be stretched to the inferno.

A backhoe parked near the house was destroyed, and a pickup truck and boat were damaged, Hunter said.

“We were able to move anything that had keys in them,” Hooker said.

Investigator Richard Shepard of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said the windy conditions helped fuel the fire.

The fire was under control by 11:15 p.m., though the ruins were still smoldering Friday morning and firefighters were later called in to douse hot spots.

“It’s pretty much a total loss,” Hunter said of the house.


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