SKOWHEGAN — A battery charger likely caused the fire Friday evening at 245 Palmer Road that destroyed the family’s home and killed at least three of their pets.

Investigators believe an all-terrain vehicle battery was being charged in the basement and it started the fire that killed two dogs and a cat, according to Ty Strout, a firefighter with the Skowhegan Fire Department.

It’s unclear if the charger malfunctioned and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is still investigating, Strout said Saturday.

Neighbors called 911 around 4 p.m. to report flames shooting through the roof of the log-cabin style home. Smoke could be seen billowing into the air for miles around.

The homeowners, Larry Hadley and Rebecca Roderick, have four children and several dogs, Strout said. They were not home when the fire started, but at least two of the dogs and one cat were killed in the fire, he said.

The family owns other animals that were in another building, according to Strout. Calls to numbers listed for the homeowners were not answered Saturday.

The home was destroyed, but it was insured, according to Strout.

Firefighters had the blaze extinguished Friday by 5:09 p.m., but they remained on the scene until 8:37 p.m. to monitor flareups, he said

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]

Staff Writer Erin Rhoda contributed to this report

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