STAFF REPORT

Firefighters from Farmington and nearby towns have responded to two serious house fires in as many days.

No people were injured, but several pets died in the Wednesday and Thursday fires, Farmington Fire Chief Terry Bell said.

A fire on Wednesday afternoon destroyed a home on Vacation Estates. Less than 24 hours later, crews were called to fight a blaze on New Vineyard Road, Bell said Friday morning.

Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal are looking into both fires, Bell said.

A neighbor reported the fire at 120 Vacation Estates, off Holley Road, at 5:23 p.m. Wednesday, according to Bell. The single-story ranch-style home was owned by Bernard Bates, who lived there with his sister, his daughter and her partner, Bell said.

The fire is believed to have started in a bedroom in the basement. When crews arrived, it had spread to the main floor directly above the basement room, Bell said. About 60 firefighters from Chesterville, Jay, New Vineyard, Strong, Temple, Wilton and Industry fought the fire for five hours, finally leaving the scene at 10:30 p.m. They had to tear out walls in the house to make sure the fire was out, Bell added. No people were injured, but one dog and three cats died in the fire, he said.

On Thursday morning, at 11:48 a.m., crews were sent to another fire at 358 New Vineyard Road, in a home owned by Ronald and Cheri Jalbert. A passer-by called in the fire, and no one was at home at the time, he said.

The fire gutted the two-story home, but the attached two-bay garage and breezeway were left intact, Bell said.

No people were injured, but two dogs and possibly a cat died, Bell said.

About 41 firefighters from Chesterville, Industry, Jay, New Vineyard, New Sharon, Strong, Temple and Wilton spent almost six hours fighting the blaze, Bell said.


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