Fire destroys Foreside Road home in Falmouth

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FALMOUTH — No one was injured Monday when a two-alarm fire destroyed a home and forced Foreside Road to be closed for seven hours.

Fire Chief Howard Rice said the blaze was reported at 5 a.m. by a newspaper delivery person. As of Tuesday evening, the cause of fire was still under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.

The home, a century-and-a-half-old farmhouse at 169 Foreside Road, was recently sold. The new owners were planning to move in this week, Rice said, and the home was unoccupied Monday when the fire broke out.

Fire crews from Cumberland, Falmouth and Portland responded to the stubborn blaze, which was still emerging from the eaves of the home nearly five hours after it was first reported.

With temperatures in the teens early Monday, much of the water firefighters poured on the building had frozen to the roof, clapboards and nearby tree branches, all of which sparkled in the bright early morning sun.

Rice said the fire began in the center of the home, then spread into the attic. The stairwell and second floor were consumed by flames, which prevented firefighters from reaching the attic.

When crews arrived, the fire had already burned through the roof. Additions on the house made the fire tricky to extinguish, Rice added.

“It’s just a stubborn old farmhouse,” he said.

The farmhouse was the childhood home of The Forecaster columnist Abby Diaz, and was the subject of her March 10 column, “The house we called home.” Her parents, the Marshalls, moved out earlier this month.

Diaz said on Tuesday that the news of the fire was devastating. She received a call from a neighbor at 5:15 a.m. Monday, and drove to the scene a few hours later.

“I wish I could forget the image of walking towards that house we’d lived in for so long as it crumbled into itself. Smoke was billowing from my old room, and all I saw were charred remains,” she said in an e-mail. “It really does feel like a death in the family to think that the house, as we knew it, will never be that way again.”

The new owners declined a request for an interview. The home was most recently valued for tax assessment by the town at $515,000.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.

Sidebar Elements

A Falmouth firefighter sprays water on a stubborn blaze Monday at at 169 Foreside Road. The century-and-a-half-old farmhouse had been recently sold and was unoccupied when the fire broke out. The new owners were planning to move in this week.

Fire was still emerging from the eaves of 169 Foreside Road nearly five hours after it was first reported Monday.

A firefighter walks down Foreside Road, which was closed for several hours Monday morning, while crews from Cumberland, Falmouth and Portland fought a stubborn fire that destroyed a circa 1850 farmhouse.