HARTFORD — More than 30 firefighters from seven towns battled an early morning fire in Hartford on Sunday. But despite their best efforts, the 3 a.m. blaze reduced the wooden farmhouse to nothing more than rubble in the basement.

Ironically, it was the same Cary Hill Road property where an August tornado ripped to shreds an attached barn.

“Basically, it was a total loss,” said Chief Steven Campbell of the Buckfield Fire Department. “It caved in within 15 minutes of us arriving.”

Campbell said that homeowner Ken Schuler, who lives in Edgecomb with his wife, was still cleaning up the debris left from the summer tornado that completely destroyed a barn attached to the home. He said that Schuler was staying at the home Saturday night when he awoke to fire early Sunday morning.

Schuler then walked up the road to a neighbor’s home to call for help, Campbell said, adding that the structure was fully engulfed by the time crews arrived. He said that the home burned quickly because it was older and wooden.

In addition to Buckfield, crews from Turner, Canton, Paris, Sumner, Hebron and Livermore assisted with the fire. Firefighters cleared the scene around 8 a.m. Sunday.

Campbell said there is no reason to believe the fire was suspicious, although the state Fire Marshal’s Office will be in Monday to help determine an exact cause of the blaze.


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