A lightning strike likely caused the fire that destroyed a home in Bridgton on Monday night.

Bridgton Fire Chief Steve Fay said the homeowners were not in Maine at the time of the fire. The department responded to a call about smoke in the area shortly before 8 p.m., and the large home on Commons Road was engulfed in flames by the time the chief arrived.

“We believe this was the result of a lightning strike,” Fay said. “It’s still under investigation.”

Because the property is remote, Fay said, it was difficult to find and fight the fire. Multiple departments came from surrounding towns. The blaze was under control in about an hour and a half.

The National Weather Service in Gray had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and it expired at 8 p.m.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office will assist with the investigation into the cause, Fay said.

The residents of the home, Nancy Kluck and Will Rhys, were out of the state visiting relatives and flew home Tuesday morning to see the damage. While the fire chief initially reported that the homeowners live out of state, Kluck and Rhys said they lived year-round in the Bridgton home.

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