A Tuesday morning fire that left a Manchester family of four homeless was determined to be accidental.

Fire departments from Manchester, Fayette, Mount Vernon, Readfield, Vienna, Wayne and Winthrop were called to the blaze at 11:35 a.m. at the single-story ranch house at 27 Ingraham St. When crews arrived, the front half of the roof was covered in flames, and it took about an hour and a half to get the fire under control, Manchester Fire Chief Clarence Cram said. The fire destroyed most of the home’s roof.

As firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, homeowner Sherry Bodge hugged her 4-year-old son, Calvin and said, “It was our dream home.”

The Office of the State Fire Marshal investigated the fire and determined it was accidentally caused by Bodge’s husband, Thomas Bodge, using a blowtorch to work on plumbing pipes below the floor, said Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the fire marshal’s office. Heat from the blowtorch ignited combustible material, and the fire spread from the floor space to the walls, he said.

Thomas Bodge was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for treatment of smoke inhalation, Grimes said. A hospital spokesman said around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday that Bodge was no longer a patient there.

Calvin Bodge also was at home at the time of the fire. The Bodges’ other son, Thomas Bodge, 16, is a student at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield.


Grimes said it appears the house was destroyed, but that determination is up to the couple’s insurance company. The family’s cat is missing, but a pet snake was rescued, he said.

Donations to the family can be made by contacting Maranacook Community High School, said Kelly Frey, Thomas Bodge’s advisor at the school.

Staff Writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @pdkoenig

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