OAKLAND — A fire believed to have started around a wood pellet stove damaged a 200-year-old three-story house on Church Street Monday.

When firefighters arrived, they found fire between the first and second floors of the house, fire Chief David Coughlin said.

He said there was substantial fire damage to the second floor, water damage to the first floor and smoke damage to the third floor.

The large wooden house at 44 Church St. is owned by Tom and Kathy Hayes, who were home when the fire was discovered around 4 p.m.

“I was on the second floor,” Kathy Hayes, 55, said. “I was doing a crossword puzzle and the smoke just came rolling into the playroom that I have for my granddaughter. I screamed and Tom came up and said, ‘Get out of here.’”

She said smoke appeared to come from the second-floor pellet stove; there is also one on the first floor, she said.

The couple live on the second floor and their daughter, Brienne Hayes, her daughter, Lana Patenaude, 4, and Patenaude’s father, Nathan Patenaude, 27, live on the first floor, Kathy Hayes said at the scene.

Kathy Hayes stood on Church Street as about 35 firefighters from five towns worked on the fire. A cold wind whipped about, blowing sand in the street. Her husband, 57, wearing only a T-shirt on his back, went in and out of the house and spoke with firefighters.

“Everything I’ve saved since before they (children) were born is gone — gone,” she said, looking up at the third floor.

Her daughter stood next to a car where they had put the family’s two dogs, Jack, a black and white Australian shepherd, and Cote, a chocolate Lab-German shepherd mix. Both were fine, Kathy and Brienne Hayes said.

Firefighters were forced to break windows on the second and third floors, to fight the fire.

Coughlin said firefighters from Oakland, Sidney, Belgrade, Rome and Smithfield were at the scene; Waterville firefighters were released to go back to their station almost as soon as they arrived, he said.

Central Maine Power Co. turned off power to the house, he said. No injuries were reported. Kathy Hayes said the home was insured.

Coughlin said the fire was under investigation.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]


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