LIMINGTON, Maine — Early on Thanksgiving morning, a Limington family was awakened by a large fire that officials say started by their wood stove. Relatives say the fire left them with almost nothing.
“There’s big, gaping holes on the side of their house right now,” Beth Howard, sister of one of the victims, said. “We’re not sure if it’s unfixable but right now it’s unlivable.”
It was one of at least three fires that marred the holiday around Maine, with homes in the Oxford County towns of Sumner and Dixfield reportedly leaving families homeless as well.
A couple, their four-year-old daughter, and three pets got out of the Limington home safely. Howard says almost everything was destroyed and that the family is now staying at a motel.
“Their beds, their clothes, their food, all of the gifts they had for their four-year-old daughter,” Howard said. “They are still in shock and she doesn’t know what to do. So right now they’re scared.”
Capt. David Lawnsby of the Limington Fire Department says nearly seven other departments responded to the fire. Despite the frigid weather, firefighters were able to put the flames out quickly.
“The weather conditions we had today, the freezing temperatures made it a little bit challenging, but everything seemed to be working properly, so we were able to do a quick attack,” Lawnsby said.
While nearly all is lost this Thanksgiving, Howard says they’re grateful to have what’s most important.
“You know, when I got that phone call and she was crying, I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was,” Howard said. “Houses can be replaced. Toys can be replaced. But they can’t.”
Red Cross has been advised and will be returning to the residence tomorrow. Beth Howard has created a GoFundMe to raise money for the family.
Oxford County fires
Two more families are homeless after additional Thanksgiving morning fires destroyed homes in two Oxford County towns.
The fires took place in Sumner and Dixfield, with multiple towns responding to help local firefighters put out the flames.
No one was injured but both families will need new places to stay.
The Sumner fire happened to a home on Gammon Road.
The Dixfield fire on Canton Point Road apparently started somewhere in the area of the wood stove and its stove pipe connecting with the chimney.
Fire officials said two people, an infant and a dog safely escaped the fire, but photos also show little left of the mobile home.