OXFORD – A family escaped injury Saturday night as flames reduced their home at 224 Caldwell Lane to smoldering rubble.

According to Lt. Steve Cordwell of the Oxford Fire Department, the house belonged to Dwight Doucette of Westbrook.

“It’s a summer place,” said Cordwell.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but Cordwell says it appears to have started on the exterior of the building. Doucette called 911 on his cell phone to report the fire shortly before 7 p.m.

Cordwell said Doucette and his family were in the house at the time of the fire, but escaped without injury. Cordwell said he saw Doucette standing away from the building with his wife and at least four children.

Firefighters from Oxford, Norway, Paris, Mechanic Falls and Poland responded to the blaze. Because of the condition of Caldwell Lane, a narrow dirt road which runs along a strip of land separating Whitney Pond and Hogan Pond, only a handful of fire vehicles could access the building. The rest were crowded around the entrance of the lane on Rabbit Valley Road.

Cordwell said the two-story structure, which was built into the side of a hill, was fully involved on arrival. The fire had also spread to the woods on both sides of the road.

Three trucks, each with the capacity to carry 1,000 gallons of water, made it to the scene, as did a tanker with a capacity of 2,500 gallons. In addition, a portable pump to took water from Whitney Pond.

The house did not have electricity, but did have a generator and two propane tanks. Neither tank exploded, and Cordwell says he did not believe the gas inside the tanks was vented during the blaze.


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.