CHINA — One person died Friday when a fire ripped through a single-family home on Dutton Road, destroying it and drawing firefighters from several area towns.

South China fire Chief Richard Morse said he could not discuss specifics of the fire, as it was being investigated by the Office of State Fire Marshal. But a spokeswoman for that office, Shannon Moss, later issued a statement saying investigators believe the victim is the homeowner, identified as 53-year-old David Buchanan.

Authorities on Friday gave no indication of a possible cause.

The fire at 93 Dutton Road was reported at 10:19 a.m., according to a dispatcher at the Waterville Regional Communications Center. The home was a  “pretty new” single-story house with an attached garage, according to Morse.

“No firefighters were injured,” he said. “We had really good cooperation with fire departments. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to handle it.”

Morse said high winds made fighting the fire more difficult.


“It was pushing the fire harder than it would have if there was no wind,” he said.

Between 20 and 25 firefighters responded to the scene from the South China, China Village and Weeks Mills fire departments, as well as from the Albion, Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow departments, according to Morse.

Also at the scene Friday were workers from Delta Ambulance, China Rescue and the Maine Forest Service, he said.

Asked if the house was insured, Morse said he did not know. It wasn’t clear if Buchanan lived alone or others lived there as well.

Dutton Road runs between Pleasant View Ridge Road and Libby Hill Road.

Real estate websites listed 93 Dutton Road as a 1,468-square-foot, ranch-style home with five rooms, including three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The blue house with four garage bays was sold in 2021 for $440,000, according to Redfin, one of the sites.

Town tax records indicate it was built in 2020.

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