Six people are homeless after an overnight fire, caused by smoking materials discarded near a rear porch, destroyed a house on North Road in Mount Vernon.

Mount Vernon Fire Chief Dana Dunn said nobody was hurt in the blaze, but six people from two families who rented the home at 183 North Road lost everything.

Sgt. Kenneth Grimes, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said Wednesday afternoon the fire started on a rear porch as a result of careless disposal of smoking materials. Grimes said the fire is listed officially as accidental.

Dunn said the home is owned by a Massachusetts man whose name he didn’t know. He also didn’t know the names of the home’s residents. He wasn’t sure whether the home or its contents are insured.

Dunn said all six people, including a couple of children, were inside when the fire broke out. He said one of the residents woke up, smelled the smoke and alerted the others to the fire.

The American Red Cross was called to provide the family with some essentials, such as clothing and temporary shelter.

“They lost everything,” Dunn said.

The fire, which was reported around 1:44 a.m. Wednesday, already was burning into the house when the first firefighters arrived, Dunn said. The home, at least 200 years old, burned quickly. Firefighters immediately turned their attention to protecting surrounding properties. Dry spring conditions elevated their concern.

“We were worried about the field catching, and there was another farm next door,” Dunn said. “We had the wind in our favor. It wasn’t blowing.”

Firefighters requested heavy equipment to level the home so that crews could douse any hot spots.

“It’s a total loss,” Dunn said.

Firefighters from Belgrade, Fayette, Manchester, Readfield, Vienna and Wayne helped Mount Vernon crews battle the blaze. The last crews didn’t leave the site until 9 a.m.

“They did a real good job,” Dunn said. “We have a really good mutual aid group out here. We work well together.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
[email protected]
Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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