VASSALBORO — A couple in their 70s is homeless after fire tore through their rented mobile home Thursday off Route 32 in Vassalboro, destroying the home and all their belongings.

Ron and Sandra Goguen’s 5-week-old kitten is believed to have perished in the fire, according to those who tried to rescue it.

Vassalboro police have also summoned a motorist for allegedly driving over a fire hose.

The Goguens were out delivering Meals on Wheels on Thursday morning when they got a call from a neighbor, Dennis Wright, asking if they were together and notifying them that their home was on fire.

Wright and two other neighbors, Arnold Pelletier and David Jackson, had tried to break down the mobile home’s door after Pelletier noticed smoke coming from a vent at the peak of the roof and called 911 around 10:15 a.m.

Wright had feared one of the Goguens was inside and frantically tried to get in.


“When we busted the door open, the smoke was so thick we couldn’t enter,” he said.

Thick black smoke was seen rising into the air from miles away in Winslow.

The Goguens’ mobile home is in China Lake Park on Bradstreet Road, just off Route 32 near Ron’s Auto Parts Inc. It is about 2 miles from downtown North Vassalboro and the Olde Mill Place.

Vassalboro, South China and Winslow firefighters battled the blaze, which was difficult to fight because the mobile home had a metal roof.

Vassalboro Fire Chief Eric Rowe said at the scene that the cause of the fire was unknown.

“It’s going to be hard to determine,” Rowe said. “There’s a metal roof on it and it was hard to get in. We couldn’t get onto the roof and really ventilate it.”


David LaFountain, chief of both the Waterville and Winslow fire departments, also was working at the scene.

“When we got here, it was just mostly involved, so we put as much water as we could on it,” LaFountain said. “We had someone drive a car over the hose and break it, so we’re using tank water instead of hydrants.”

Rowe said the Goguens had renters’ insurance.

Mark Brown, Vassalboro’s police chief, said the owner of a motor vehicle was summoned and charged after driving over a fire hose, which interfered with the crews’ efforts to put out the fire. The owner was fined $152 and will be ordered to pay restitution once the fire chief is able to review the damage.

The mobile home was owned by the park’s owner, Chris Ames, of Sabattus, according to neighbors. They said Ames owns some of the approximately 20 mobile homes in the park, which also comprises Oxford Road, and some of the homes are individually owned.

A neighbor, Sandra Buckmore, who was standing outside, said she was unable to drive out of the park because of all the emergency vehicles and hoses.


“I saw all the commotion and the cars going by, and the neighbors and I went out and saw smoke,” she said.

With her was Pelletier, who said he was unloading wood from his truck and saw smoke coming out of the vent at the peak of the Goguen trailer before the home broke into flames.

“I said to my friend to call 911 and he didn’t have his phone, so I went in the garage and got mine and called 911,” Pelletier said. “I said there’s something wrong. There isn’t supposed to be smoke coming out of there. Dennis busted the door. We were going to go in and there was so much smoke we couldn’t go in. Dennis maintains the park for the owner and plows the roads in the winter.”

Wright said he felt terrible for the Goguens and he knows neighbors would rally to help them.

“They’re a very nice couple — very nice couple,” he said. “They were out delivering Meals on Wheels.”

Wright said after he called the couple to notify them of the fire, he ran over and turned off the power to the mobile home.


Meanwhile, Rowe said he did not know if he would be calling the state fire marshal’s office for help in determining the cause.

Delta Ambulance was at the scene.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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