Fire Danger in New Hampshire, Maine — Lebanon Farmhouse Destroyed
Fire destroyed a farmhouse in Maine and damaged a home in Plaistow among several structure and brush fires on Saturday around the Seacoast region.
Gusty winds and dead and dry vegetation created ideal conditions for the fast spread of fire on Saturday, although the relative humidity was not low enough to meet criteria required for a Red Flag Warning to be issued by the National Weather Service.
A fire broke out at a farmhouse at the intersection of Heath and Depot Roads in Lebanon around 4 p.m. that spread to a barn and the surrounding woods, according to the York, Maine Fire Department, one of several responding fire companies from Strafford and York counties.
There are no working fire hydrants in the immediate area of the farmhouse. Water had to be shuttled to the farmhouse by several tankers for several hours to put out the flames, according to the York Fire Department.
Gusty Winds a Concern
The fire eventually went to four alarms, bringing in not only more firefighters, but water used to extinguish the flames. Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles around, including 45 miles away at the Oak Hill fire tower in Concord, NH, according to NEWS 603.
Lebanon Fire Chief Kirk Flynn told WMTW TV that two firefighters suffered minor burns in the fire. A vehicle was also destroyed by the fire.
There was also concern about strong winds helping spread the flames to the surrounding woods. Winds out of the northwest were around 8 MPH and gusting to 12 MPH at several observation points at the time of the fire.
The farm is owned by the Glidden family, who lost everything in the blaze according to a GoFundMe page created by Amanda Farnum. Two horses and a barn located away from the main house were saved.
"They lost a new truck, all the farming equipment, other cars, tools, the whole house with all its contents, workshop, garage, including the barn. They had no home owners insurance, unfortunately," Farnum wrote.
Farnum said that her aunt and uncle are staying with family but still need to care for the horses. Donations of barn equipment and feed will also be accepted.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Fire in Plaistow
Firefighters from 14 companies responded to a fire at a two-story home on Middle Road on Saturday night.
Plaistow firefighters were first on the scene within five minutes of the first call, and the flames were completely extinguished in 18 minutes according to Fire Chief Chris Knutsen.
"A fast response with trained, capable, and equipped firefighters limited the damage to the second floor of one unit. No injuries were reported," Knutsen said.
Brush Fires in Danville, Hampstead
Hampstead Fire and Rescue, which responded to the Plaistow fire, had a brush fire of their own to handle on Saturday afternoon according to the department's Facebook page.
A brush fire burned approximately one acre off Woodridge Road on Saturday afternoon, which was contained with assistance from a Danville tanker. Earlier, they responded to an unpermitted fire on Saturday morning off Old Johnson Road.
Danville Police said that because of the high fire danger, no open burning is allowed and permits are not being issued.
Photos of the Lebanon fire courtesy Robert Nettles Photography.
Meteorologist Dan Zarrow contributed to this report.