MADAWASKA, Maine — Members of a local family lost their home and a pet in a fire just two days before Christmas.

Fire had already engulfed much of the home of Jolyn and Fran Michaud when firefighters arrived at the 124 23rd Ave. residence shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to Madawaska Fire Chief James Soucy.

Firefighters were able to recover three dogs, but a fourth perished in the fire, according to Soucy.

No other injuries were reported.

Traffic on Main Street was temporarily blocked and rerouted as firefighters battled the blaze and worked to protect nearby structures.

They eventually got the fire under control, but the raised ranch home and attached garage were a total loss. An excavator eventually was brought in to demolish what remained and clear the site, Soucy said.

The Michauds, who were not home when the fire broke out, are temporarily staying with friends in town, the fire chief said. The house was insured, he added.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

“It’s hard to say” what started the fire, Soucy said by telephone Thursday morning.

Soucy said the owner had started a pellet stove prior to leaving the house, which was about a half hour before the call came in to the fire station. However, the fire chief said it was unclear whether that contributed to the ignition.

The fire was noticed by a neighbor, who then called emergency services.

For safety reasons, a crew with Emera Maine responded Wednesday evening to cut power to the Michaud home.

Firefighters from Grand Isle and from Edmundston, New Brunswick, assisted more than 20 Madawaska firefighters, who were at the scene for nearly six hours, according to Soucy.

Also assisting were units with Madawaska’s police and ambulance departments.