Firefighters spray water on charred timbers Sunday morning of a home at 259 Franklin Road in Jay. Jay Fire Rescue photo

JAY — A couple escaped their rented farmhouse at 259 Franklin Road early Sunday, set ablaze by wind-driven flames from nearby burning woodsheds, Fire Rescue Chief Michael Booker said Monday. A cat and two guinea pigs were saved.

The 2½-story house and two woodsheds were destroyed in the predawn blaze, he said.

State fire investigator Kenneth MacMaster of the Office of the State Fire Marshal was on scene Monday morning. It is believed the cause is electrical, Booker said. The power line from the house to the barn may have caused a spark during the strong winds, he said. The barn, which is about 50 feet from the house, was not damaged.

Jacob and Amanda Farrar were awakened by the sound of fire crackling, he said. The couple’s two young children were not at home.

The blaze was reported about 3:20 a.m.

Flames engulf a farmhouse and woodsheds Sunday morning at 259 Franklin Road in Jay. Jacob and Amanda Farrar escaped unharmed, a fire official said. Chip Richardson photo

When Booker and Deputy Fire Chief Corey Leclerc arrived, two woodsheds were engulfed in flames and the wind pushed them into the house, Booker said. Within minutes, flames spread to the second floor.  The woodsheds, which were about 20 feet from the house, had four to five cords in them, Booker said.

The house has been there a “long, long, long time,” he said.  It is known locally as the Thompson farm. The house sets about 300 feet off Franklin Road, which is Route 133.

“We did save a cat and two guinea pigs, ” Booker said.

Jay Deputy Fire Rescue Chief Corey Leclerc inspects the charred remains Sunday on the second-floor of a house at 259 Franklin Road in Jay. Jay Fire Rescue photo

Thirty to 35 firefighters from Jay, Livermore Falls, Livermore, Farmington, Wilton and Chesterville responded, along with a tanker truck from Canton and NorthStar EMS ambulance.

It took about two hours to get the fire under control. Jay firefighters responded a second time about 7:48 a.m. Sunday to douse smoldering debris.

“Everything was battling us,” Booker said, including severe cold and wind.

The property is owned by Bruce Thompson. Neither Thompson nor the Farrars had insurance coverage.

“It is a total loss,” Booker said. The house is pretty much standing but the whole interior has severe fire damage.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family.

The town values all of the buildings on the property at $67,150 and the land at $26,900.

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