Falmouth fires destroy home, vehicle

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FALMOUTH — A house on Stagecoach Road was ruled a total loss after a fire early Saturday morning, Feb. 11, according to Fire Chief Howard Rice.

No one was home at the time of the fire, which broke out just after midnight. Firefighters were able to save the family pets, Rice said.

On Monday morning, Feb. 13, firefighters were also called to a vehicle fire in a driveway on Thistle Lane. Nobody was in the vehicle when the fire broke out at around 4:40 a.m., Rice said. It appeared the vehicle, which was also a total loss, had become stuck in the snow.

Rice said the home at 13 Stagecoach Road is “pretty much gutted.” Even though the fire was contained to half of the home, he said the other half has substantial damage from smoke and water, making it unlivable.

Rice said residents are staying in a local hotel. He said there would be no investigation, since it was clear the fire started near a wood-burning fireplace insert.

Josh Koepsell owns the home, according to the town’s online tax records, but occupants of the home could not be reached for comment.

Rice said fighting the fire was a challenge due to both the weather and the location. He said the home is on a steep slope in a rural area, nearly 2 miles from the nearest fire hydrant.

He said Falmouth called in several tanker trucks from other area departments, and crews ended up using the contents of three tankers to douse the flames. For firefighters, Rice said, the biggest hazard was the icy conditions caused by the water and freezing temperatures.

He said there were a few slips and falls, but otherwise “everything went well, given the conditions,” which included fresh snow.

In addition to firefighters from Falmouth, crews also responded from Portland, Cumberland, Freeport, North Yarmouth, Gray, New Gloucester , Westbrook and Windham, Rice said. He also said that much of Blackstrap Road was shut for more than three hours.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

Firefighters from a number of towns, responded to this fire at 13 Stagecoach Road just after midnight Saturday. The house was a total loss.

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