TRENTON — No one was home when a fire broke out in a Fern Gully Road home Thursday night, officials said. James and Sarah Pinkham and their four children had left for the weekend, but the house was destroyed.
Someone in the area noticed smoke around midnight and called the Fire Department, Trenton Deputy Fire Chief Steve Heckman said. Another call a few minutes later reported a fully involved fire at the house. Firefighters from Trenton, Ellsworth, Hancock and Lamoine responded through an automatic mutual aid system.
“The entire trailer was a wall of flames” when they arrived, Heckman said. The house is in a wooded area and the fire had started to migrate out to the surrounding vegetation, but didn’t get into the trees. A shed/workshop building close to the house had also caught fire.
Officials have warned of high fire danger this week due to dry and windy conditions. Fortunately, Heckman said, “wind was not an issue” in fighting this fire and they were able to keep it from spreading.
The family cat was hiding in the woods and appeared when the Pinkhams returned home to speak with firefighters and the state fire marshal, Heckman said. A pet ferret was also “observed during the operations,” he said. “One of the firefighters scooped it up, and got it to the SPCA this morning.” The family’s other ferret has not been found.
“We thank all our mutual aid departments,” Heckman said. Firefighters from Bar Harbor responded to cover the fire station in Trenton, and other departments provided station coverage in Ellsworth, Hancock and Lamoine. “It’s a nice domino effect; it works really well,” he said.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Friends and community members are planning fundraising events and other ways to help the family. This story will be updated as information becomes available.