ATHENS — A six-bed, two-room guest house was destroyed by a fire that started late Tuesday night on Lord’s Hill Circle.

Owners Allen and Sherry Cress said no one was injured in the blaze, which was first reported about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. The fire did not affect the family’s home, barns and other buildings. Allen Cress and others picked over the charred debris and smoldering mattresses Wednesday morning, trying to salvage what they could. Clothing, bedding, hunting gear and other personal items were among the items destroyed by the flames.

Cress said he and his wife had finished dinner with friends when they spotted the fire. He said he has no idea how it started.

“We’re just grateful no one was hurt,” he said.

Sgt. Ken Grimes of the Office of State Fire Marshal said the fire was accidental, originating inside a kitchen wall, and was caused by a malfunction in the electrical system.

Athens Fire Chief Travis Thompson said the Cress family had three guests staying in the house, but they had gone to Skowhegan and had not yet returned when the fire started.

“It pretty much was fully involved when we got there. The place is totaled,” Thompson said. State investigators were called because of the extent of the damage, he said.

He said fire crews from Athens, Harmony, Cornville, Skowhegan and Madison battled the fire for more than two hours.

The couple raise Angus beef cattle at the farm atop Lord’s Hill, two miles north of Athens village off Route 150, also known as Harmony Road.

Allen Cress said his home, barns and other structures are insured, but he was not sure Wednesday to what extent the guest house was covered.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367 [email protected] Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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