SKOWHEGAN — No one was injured in a fire that destroyed a home on Canaan Road on Thursday night.

Fire departments from six towns fought the blaze, which began about 11 p.m. and burned well into the morning Friday. A section of U.S. Route 2 was closed for more than four hours.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office determined Friday afternoon that the fire was accidental and most likely started by a faulty kitchen appliance. The two-story single-family home is still standing, but is a total loss. Two pets are missing.

Homeowner Leigh Hawes described the fire in a single word Friday.

“Surreal,” he said.

Hawes, 44, bought the house at 1277 Canaan Road in 2004. It was originally a two-apartment building, but during the past four years Hawes has been converting it into a single-family home.

He and his family, wife Roxann Hawes, 39, and their two teenage daughters “had quite a bit invested in the house.”

The fire began in a row of counter-top appliances in the kitchen — most likely a coffee maker, fire marshal investigator Stu Jacobs said.

Roxann Hawes said the family was lucky the fire was discovered when it was. One of her daughters had been across the road at Lake George Regional Park before the fire broke out. When she returned home, she smelled smoke and told her mother, who was in an upstairs bedroom.

“By the time I made it downstairs, there was nothing but flames across my (kitchen) counter and up the wall,” Roxann said. “The staircase we escaped on was fully engulfed within 10 minutes.”

She also survived a close call while serving a year in Iraq with the National Guard. In 2004, she was inside a mess tent at a U.S. base near Mosul when a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 22 people.

Skowhegan Fire Chief Tom Keene said firefighters from Canaan, Clinton, Cornville, Madison, Pittsfield and Skowhegan fought the stubborn blaze overnight until about 4 a.m.

“It was nasty,” he said. “There was heavy fire on the second floor when we got there. The stairway was burned out, so there was no way we could get up there until later.”

Roxann said the house is insured, but it’s too soon to say whether they will rebuild at the site or look elsewhere.

Their cat and dog have been missing since the fire. The cat is a 3-year-old white male with black spots named Patches. The dog is a 6-year-old black-and-white husky named Demon. The couple asked anyone with information on the pets to call them at 858-5553.

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