February 7, 2013

Fire on Nelson Road in St. Albans leaves couple without home, business

Cause appears to be electrical, said firefighters

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

ST. ALBANS — A house fire Thursday morning has left a couple homeless and destroyed the business that they ran out of their home on Nelson Road.

Bonnie Gilbert had just gotten out of the shower and was styling her hair when she noticed a strange smell from somewhere in the house, according to her daughter, Kim Godsoe.

Gilbert called her husband, Darrell, who was working on a truck in Dexter for the day, and he told her to check the chimney outside, Godsoe said. The couple owns a trucking business, Northern Pride, which they operate out of their home.

“She went out to look, and the back corner of the house was fully engulfed in flames. She went back inside and called 911,” said Godsoe, who said she got a phone call from her mother around 11 a.m.
The cause of the fire appeared to be electrical, and the state fire marshal is being called in to investigate, said St. Albans Fire Chief Jason Emery.

He said the Fire Department got the call around 10:30 a.m. and that it took them 10 to 15 minutes to get to the house, which is a few miles from the center of town on a dead-end road.

No one was hurt, but it did take firefighters two to three hours to put out the fire, Emery said. He said the home had been remodeled and there were several layers of ceiling that were hard to get through.
Firefighters from St. Albans, Canaan, Dexter and Hartland responded.

The Gilberts also have two dogs that they were able to get out of the house, but the dwelling is a total loss, he said. 

Kacy Wakefield, 33, another daughter of the Gilberts, said she went right over after she got a text from her father that the house was on fire.

“They lost everything — all the paperwork for their business and their laptops,” she said. They also had a car in their garage that was destroyed, she said.

The Gilberts had lived in the home at 86 Nelson Road for about eight months, Godsoe said. They were in the process of getting renter’s insurance and had just gotten the paperwork to fill out, she said.

Chip Wakefield, the Gilberts’ son-in-law, said the house was owned by Tim Davis, who also owns a house and barn across the street. He had just left for vacation in Costa Rica when the fire broke out, Kacy Wakefield said.

She said her parents would be staying with relatives temporarily.

Rachel Ohm —  612-2368

click image to enlarge

Smoke lingers over the remains of Bonnie and Darrell Gilbert's home after it was destroyed by fire Thursday in St. Albans.

Staff photo by Rachel Ohm

Related headlines

Solon barn razed in Thursday fire

SOLON — A barn at 730 Hole In The Wall Road “burned flat” Thursday afternoon, according to Athens Fire Chief Travis Thompson.

A house 20 yards away was not damaged. Solon Fire Chief Ronald Brown did not immediately return a call for details of the fire, reported at 2:25 p.m.

Thompson did not know the cause of the fire or whether animals were in the barn.

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