A Bowdoinham family’s Ridge Road home was destroyed by a fire early Sunday morning. Darcie Moore/The Times Record

 

BOWDOINHAM — A family lost its home in a fire that may have been sparked by a lightning strike early Sunday morning, according to the fire department officials.

The fire at 447 Ridge Road was reported shortly before 4:30 a.m.

The home belonged to Chris and Jenn Allyn, who lived there with their two children.

“We woke up to our garage on fire, and the second we noticed that we went to get out of the house,” Jenn Allyn said. “As we were trying to get out, the kitchen caught on fire and then it just spread like wildfire.”

The family escaped with their dog, but a cat was likely killed in the fire.

Five departments teamed up to fight the fire. The garage and house were already in flames when Bowdoinham Deputy Fire Chief Jeremy Moeller arrived. He estimated it took about an hour to get the blaze under control.

Bowdoinham Fire Chief Arthur Frizzle said the fire started in the garage. There was a lightning strike in the area late Saturday night, which Frizzle said may have sparked the fire.

“There was nothing suspicious about it,” Frizzle said.

An excavator digs through the remains of a Bowdoinham home that was destroyed by a fire Sunday morning, as firefighters hose down smoldering debris. Darcie Moore/The Times Record

Due to the amount of damage, Frizzle said it’s unlikely investigators will be able to pinpoint the exact cause.

Violent thunderstorms had swept through southern and western Maine over Saturday and Sunday, leaving more than 3,000 Central Maine Power customers withouth electricity by Saturday evening, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The structure has since been demolished.

The Allyn family had lived there since 2012. It was also Jenn Allyn’s childhood home.

Allyn said the family has practiced fire drills with their children, who have also learned about what to do in the case of a fire at school.

The couple was emotional watching firefighters work. The Allyns said they were thinking of all the sentimental items lost in the fire — family photographs and items from Allyn’s grandmother who recently died, as well as all their children’s belongings.

Allyn found a teddybear safe and sound and wrapped her arms around it. It was her first stuffed animal, given to her as a newborn. And there was the sweater her grandmother knitted for her son, dirty and wet, but intact.

Most of their belongings are gone, however.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family.

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