A fire early Wednesday destroyed a barn and damaged a house owned by siblings Frank and Gayle Donahue on North Main Street in Strong. Fire Chief Duayne Boyd said the fire was determined to have been caused by faulty wiring connected to a chicken pen in the barn. Fifteen to 20 chickens perished in the blaze.

STRONG — A fire that destroyed a barn and damaged a two-story house early Wednesday on North Main Street was caused by faulty wiring connected to a heat lamp in a chicken pen, Fire Chief Duayne Boyd said.

Fifteen to 20 chickens perished in the blaze. 

State fire investigator Kenneth MacMaster investigated the fire.

About 25 firefighters from five towns responded at 2:57 a.m., Boyd said. 

The owners of the home, siblings Frank and Gayle Donahue, and a college-aged family member were able to escape, he said.

A resident at the home was still up when the power went out and he turned in his chair and saw smoke coming into the house.

When the first firetruck arrived the barn was engulfed, Boyd said.

Firefighters set up hoses to fight the fire from the exterior of the barn and the interior of the house in the rooms closest to the attached barn and ell of the house, both upstairs and downstairs, in an effort to save the house.

In essence, they created a water curtain.

The fire had burned into a kitchen wall and ceiling but was stopped there and didn’t spread farther. Firefighters put salvage covers on the family’s destroyed items and were able to save a lot of belongings.

The barn was burned to the ground. The house had water, smoke and structural damage, Boyd said.

The house is insured. The family is being helped by the American Red Cross and members of the Strong United Methodist Church.

Firefighters from Strong were assisted by firefighters from Farmington, New Vineyard, Phillips and Wilton. A NorthStar EMS crew were on standby.

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