December 4, 2011

Morning fire destroys Madison home

Officials suspect propane heater

MADISON — A propane heater may have caused a fire that destroyed a one-story home, displacing a mother and daughter who were away when the fire broke out early Saturday morning in Madison.

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FIRE: A one-story home at 174 Shusta Road in Madison was destroyed by fire that started early Saturday morning. Investigators believe the fire likely started in a propane heating stove when no one was home.

Staff photo by David Robinson

A neighbor called 911 after noticing the smoke and flames engulfing the 174 Shusta Road home at 7:19 a.m., according to Madison fire Chief Roger Lightbody Sr.

Firefighters started arriving within minutes of the emergency call and heavy flames and smoke were already pouring from the wooden-frame home. Some of the walls and sections of the roof had already collapsed at the time, said Lightbody, who was the first emergency responder on the scene.

"Flames were just everywhere," he said.

Lightbody suspects the fire had been burning for awhile before the neighbor noticed the fire. Intense heat and flames kept firefighters from entering the home, and they used fire hoses to douse the flames from outside, he said.

The fire gutted and destroyed most of the home, which is a total loss and was insured, Lightbody said. He said Billy Jo Fuller lives in the house that is owned by her mother, Joann, who lives in Connecticut.

Billy Jo Fuller and some of her other family members arrived Saturday morning shortly after hearing about the fire from neighbors, Lightbody said.

State Fire Marshal's Office investigators believe a propane heater possibly started the fire, according to Sgt. Ken Grimes, with the fire marshals office.

Outside agencies are expected to examine the propane heater Sunday to confirm that is started the fire, which is not considered suspicious, Grimes said.

Fire departments from the towns of Anson, Starks and Skowhegan assisted, with about 25 firefighters at the scene Saturday morning, Lightbody said.

A man from the Anson Fire Department was taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, where he was treated for dehydration and released, Grimes said.

David Robinson -- 861-9287


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