MADISON CHIEF: FIRE A “HUGE LOSS”

by Gair on July 18, 2013

THE FIRE CHIEF IN MADISON CALLS AN EARLY THURSDAY MORNING FIRE AT A FORMER BED AND BREAKFAST IN MADISON AN ENORMOUS HISTORIC LOSS TO THE TOWN – AND LOSS OF PROPERTY TO THE OWNER.

RICK JUDKINS SAYS IT TOOK NEARLY TWENTY MINUTES TO FIND THE FIRE AFTER A CALL CAME IN SHORTLY AFTER 1:15 A.M. THURSDAY REPORTING A LARGE BUILDING WAS BURNING NEAR SILVER LAKE.

JUDKINS SAYS FIREFIGHTERS SEARCHED THROUGH HEAVY FOG BEFORE DETERMINING THE FIRE WAS NOT ON THE LAKE, BUT AT A HIGHER ELEVATION AT 263 MAPLE GROVE RD., ALSO KNOWN AS “MARY’S FARM.”

THE FIRE HAD SPREAD FROM A 3-STORY BARN INTO A 19-ROOM BUILDING.

TWO DOGS DIED IN THE FIRE AND HALF A DOZEN HORSES WERE EVACUATED FROM ANOTHER BARN AND MOVED TO A SAFER LOWER PASTURE. NO ONE ELSE WAS HOME AT THE TIME AND NO FIREFIGHTERS WERE HURT.

A THIRD ALARM WAS DECLARED AND AS MANY AS 80 FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED FROM SURROUNDING TOWNS, INCLUDING CONWAY, OSSIPEE, EFFINGHAM, FREEDOM AND TAMWORTH.

JUDKINS SAYS THE STRUCTURE WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT IN THE 1860s AND RESTORED AFTER BURNING IN 1901. THURSDAY’S FIRE LEFT IT TOTALLY UNINHABITABLE.

JUDKINS SAYS THE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE AND A LIGHTNING STRIKE IS CONSIDERED A POSSIBILITY. HE SAYS LIGHTNING IN THE AREA WEDNESDAY AROUND 9:30 P.M. WAS “PHENOMENAL” AND A STRIKE COULD HAVE CAUSED SMOLDERING WOOD TO EVENTUALLY ERUPT INTO FLAMES.

JUDKINS WAS STILL AT THE SCENE UNTIL LATE THURSDAY MORNING.

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