HARRISON — Firefighters from a dozen communities combined to fight a fire at 485 Maple Ridge Road Tuesday afternoon.

Crews from Harrison were called to the fire around 3:55 p.m. to the 19th-century post-and-beam structure at the intersection of Maple Ridge and Haskell Hill Road. 

According to Harrison fire Chief Dana LaPlante, firefighters arrived on scene only seven to eight minutes after the initial call to find the home already fully involved. 

A man, woman and young child living there escaped the fire unharmed. LaPlante said the Red Cross has been called in to assist the family.

According to LaPlante, the fire occurred “quite a ways from water,” causing the many responding departments to carry water via tanker from Crystal Lake, about 1¼ miles away. 

The fire was under control in about an hour but LaPlante said crews were in for “extensive overhaul” due to the construction of the house and the metal roofing hiding many hot spots from the water. 

To make matters worse, the winds in the area spawned grass fires across the road and in an adjacent field. LaPlante said that even though the ground is wet this time of year, with the sunny weather we’ve had the past couple of days, everything on top is dry. 

LaPlante said he believes the fire started in the back of the house where the stove is but will not know for sure until the fire marshal has a chance to investigate. 

LaPlante said crews cleared the scene around 8:30 p.m. and there were no injuries to fire personnel.

Nearby resident Jody Bedard was on his way to the Fish and Game Club when he saw the smoke.

“I was driving down Maple Ridge Road and I saw a little bit of smoke out of the back corner of the house,” Bedard said. “As I drove by, I saw some smoke at the other back corner so I said to my passenger, ‘Is that house on fire?’

“I backed up and two females came running out of the house, followed by a male,” Bedard said. “The females had two dogs with them — I asked them if the house was on fire and they said yes — so I asked if they wanted me to call 911 and they said yes.

“After I called 911, a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy arrived and told me to divert the traffic up Haskell Hill Road,” Bedard said.

A few firefighters started showing up in their own vehicles before the trucks began rolling in, he said.

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