CARIBOU, Maine — Four members of a local family got out and then opened a basement door to let their dog also escape before their home was destroyed by fire Wednesday, according to Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi.

An individual driving by the house noticed flames and alerted the fire department at about 3 p.m., Susi said.

The family members were out by the time firefighters arrived, and the homeowner opened a door to let the dog escape after the firefighters got to the home at 341 Grimes Mill Road.

Wind and weather conditions challenged firefighters from Caribou and from the neighboring departments of Fort Fairfield, Limestone and Presque Isle who assisted.

“The wind made it just like a blowtorch,” Susi said.

Also, some farm vehicles on the narrow back road that the home is located on made it more difficult for firefighters to get water to the scene.

An investigator with the state fire marshal’s office is currently trying to determine the cause of the fire.

“Everyone did a great job, and there is enough information for the marshals to use in their investigation,” Susi said.

The home was insured and the residents are currently staying with family, the chief said.