Firefighters pack up after putting out a fire Thursday in a house on Sturtevant Hill Road in Winthrop. Two dogs were killed in the blaze. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

WINTHROP — A structure fire killed two dogs at a home on Sturtevant Hill Road in Winthrop on Thursday, on a day already marked by tragedy across the region.

The Winthrop Fire Department received a call at around 12:30 p.m. from a next-door neighbor, reporting a fire at 856 Sturtevant Hill Road. Authorities reached the scene shortly after and found the house on fire with multiple windows broken and smoke gushing out.

“We do not yet know the cause of the fire as we are still investigating it,” said Fire Chief Dan Brooks. “We do not think the cause is anything suspicious.”

Responders found two dogs in the burning house. The Winthrop Ambulance Service tried to provide oxygen to the dogs to revive them but the efforts were unsuccessful, Brooks said. The occupants of the house were not home at the time.

The fire was reported around the same officials were responding to a fatal car crash on U.S. Route 202 in Monmouth. Officials had to “separate our resources,” Brooks said. And both incidents come as a massive manhunt is underway in central Maine for the man suspected of shooting and killing 18 people and wounding 13 others Wednesday night in Lewiston.

Brooks added that the damage to the house was significant. The entire first floor of the house will require refurbishing, while the other rooms were damaged by the billows of smoke caused by the fire.

The Winthrop Police Department and the Monmouth and Manchester fire departments also responded to assist on the scene. Upon arriving at the scene and assessing the extent of the situation, a member of the Winthrop Fire Department also called in the Lakes Region Fire Group for assistance.

A part of Sturtevant Hill Road was closed down for almost two hours and reopened at around 2:30 p.m.

Authorities have cleared the scene, though some stayed to investigate the cause of the fire.

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