NORWAY — An early-morning fire Wednesday destroyed a single-story ranch-style house, displacing a woman and her three children. 

The occupants and a dog managed to get out of the house safely after awakening around 2:30 a.m. to the smell of smoke, according to Brandi Tipton, who was renting the house. 

Fire departments from Norway, Paris, Oxford, Otisfield, Waterford, West Paris and Harrison were called to the scene. 

Still on scene later Wednesday morning, Tipton, 32, watched as Norway firefighters and an investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office sifted through the charred remnants. The fire reduced half of the structure to a blackened frame, destroying personal items, including children’s toys. Tipton said she didn’t have renter’s insurance.

Norway Fire Chief Dennis Yates said the fire appeared to have begun in the rear of the house, though the cause remained under investigation. Yates said it appeared to have been an accident. The unit’s owner has been notified, he said. 

The American Red Cross has supplied the family with a hotel voucher, Tipton said. Donations can be made at

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