A Richmond family of four is homeless after a fire tore through the first floor of their house Thursday morning at 532 Beedle Road.

The fire, which originated in the kitchen and investigators say was accidental, was reported just before 8 a.m. It was discovered by a woman who lived in the home and returned from a night shift at her job, said Matt Roberge, chief of the Richmond Fire Department.

No one else was home and no firefighters were injured, but the family’s two dogs were killed in the fire, Roberge said. One of the owners of the home was Eric Proctor, who lived there with his wife and two children.

The fire started in the kitchen, and an investigator from the state fire marshal’s office determined that it was an accident, Roberge said. The accidental fire involved a stove, but Roberge said he wasn’t sure of the exact cause, especially because no one was home when it started.

The fire then spread from the kitchen to the living room, extensively burning the first floor and leaving smoke and heat damage on the second floor, Roberge said. He said he thought the family had homeowner’s insurance.

“If they were to use that structure again, it’ll need to some extensive repairs,” Roberge said. “It’s not falling down or in danger of collapse, but there’s some good charring.”

The American Red Cross announced later Thursday that it was helping four people displaced by the fire, ensuring they have food and a place to sleep, providing financial assistance as needed and referring them to community services.

About eight area fire departments helped attack the fire, and Roberge was particularly thankful to the Gardiner Fire Department, which was the first one at the scene Thursday morning.

“It was a good, hard, quick fire attack, and we got it put it out quickly,” Roberge said. “I appreciated all the mutual aid. The daytime response for (volunteer fire departments like Richmond’s) are tough. We’re definitely glad to have Gardiner’s career department.”

Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours.

After the fire, an online fundraiser for the Proctor family was started on the website YouCaring.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker


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