DIXFIELD — A local man lost one of his dogs Friday afternoon in a fire that destroyed the cabin he was living in, fire Chief Scott Dennett said.

The cause could not be determined because of the extent of damage, but it started in the area of a kerosene heater, he said Friday night.

Peter York broke down in tears as he talked about his beloved Susie Q who perished inside the 10- by 16-foot cabin on Route 2. The cabin was owned by his employers and friends, Vance Child of Falls Taxidermy and his fiancee, Terry Cody. 

Firefighters from Dixfield, East Dixfield, Mexico and Peru kept the flames from spreading to the couple’s nearby home and three sheds that contained an office, horse stalls and 200 bales of hay.

York said Susie Q was in the cabin by herself and may have tipped over a self-contained kerosene heater.

Cody said she was outside and saw smoke coming from the door of the cabin.

“I hollered her name and opened the door a little bit,” she said. “I saw all the smoke and then the flames and didn’t see her.”

The three residents attempted to put out flames and protect the house and sheds with fire extinguishers and hoses until the Fire Department arrived. They also removed four to five kerosene tanks near the cabin, Cody said.

She said her two horses were outside when the fire started and she was glad she didn’t lose the hay. She was unsure whether homeowners’ insurance would cover the loss.

York’s other dog was not hurt and was sitting in a nearby truck as fire crews worked to extinguish the flames.

It was not the first fire Child experienced. In 2000, he lost his home, he said.

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