Caribou Fire and Ambulance, along with Presque Isle and Limestone departments, fought against high winds, low visibility, excess snow, and cold temperatures during a Feb. 7 fire at 529 Van Buren Road in Caribou. Credit: Courtesy of the Caribou Fire Department

CARIBOU, Maine — A fire destroyed a home in Caribou on Friday during a storm with high winds and low visibility.

Caribou Fire and Ambulance Captain Brian Lajoie said two people passing by the Van Buren Road home rescued the occupant, who was sent to Cary Medical Center for smoke inhalation. He was later released after receiving treatment.

Lajoie said 18 firefighters, including responders from Presque Isle and Limestone, were on the scene after receiving the call at roughly 5 p.m. Friday.

They waded through more than a foot of snow, and Lajoie said the constant wind hindered their efforts. Cold temperatures caused equipment to freeze throughout the night as they battled the fire, he said.

“Our mutual aid had to be very careful in getting to the scene because the roads were terrible, especially the stretch of Route 1 we were on,” he said. “The visibility was down to zero.”

Lajoie said high wind, low temperatures and the sheer volume of snow surrounding the home were major factors contributing to why firefighters were unable to save the home.

No cause has been determined. Lajoie said the department plans to interview the homeowner after he fully recovers.