MEXICO — A fire Sunday afternoon that extensively damaged a barn, a garage and a house at 223 Swift River Road was caused by a heat lamp in the barn, Deputy Fire Chief Richard Jones said.

Jones said the initial fire call came in around 1:30 p.m. and firefighters from Mexico, Rumford, Dixfield, Peru and Roxbury responded.

Firefighters helped homeowner Diane Linfield and her mother out of their house, he said. A cat and a couple of chickens perished, but some goats and dogs survived.

Jones said he met Monday morning with Ken McMasters of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, who determined the blaze was accidental, caused by a heat lamp too close to combustibles in a small barn that was housing chickens.

The barn was attached to the garage, which was attached to the two-story house. The fire worked its way through the garage and into the roof area of house, he said.

“There were two guys that were passing by and they saw the fire. They went up and helped the two residents out of the house,” Jones said.

“When we pulled up on scene, the garage area and the shed were pretty much engulfed (in flames),” Jones said. “You could tell it was into the house at that point.”

“We had two guys inside (the house) putting water to it,” he said. “Then we put guys on the roof and they did a trench cut to vent the roof area. When they did that, a lot of fire came out. At that point, between the interior and them venting that, it helped to slow the fire down and eventually knock it down.”

Jones said Linfield told him she had been working on the property for four years to make it her retirement home.

“She was able to save a little bit of stuff, but very little,” Jones said.

He said he believed Linfield had insurance.

Jones said firefighters cleared the scene shortly after 4:30 p.m. A couple of hours later, firefighters returned after a small fire flared up.

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.