Knights Pond homestead destroyed in fire

By Jordan Bailey | Jan 06, 2017
Photo by: Jordan Bailey Fire engulfs a 200-year-old Northport home late in the afternoon of Jan. 6.
Knights Pond Rd. house fire
5:29 p.m.
(Video by: Jordan Bailey)

Northport — A massive fire destroyed a 200-year-old home and took the life of a pet dog Friday evening, Jan. 6.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Waldo County Regional Communications Center put out a call to multiple fire departments to respond to a structure fire at 100 Knights Pond Road. Northport, Lincolnville and Belfast departments responded.

By 5:20, the home was fully engulfed. The owners, sisters Sherrie Pierce and Joy Metcalf, said they didn't know the cause of the fire. When Metcalf returned home after a few hours out, it was already underway. The sisters were unharmed but their fox terrier Zoë did not survive.

Pierce said the home had been in the family since their grandparents bought it in the 1940s, and that it was originally built sometime between 1780 and 1820.

"We had no insurance since it was such an old house," she said from her car half-way up the long driveway, where firefighters had laid hose to deliver water from a portable drop tank set up at the road. "We're fine, but our family house is gone."

She said she owns a mobile home that they will be able to stay in for now.

Metcalf said she hoped firefighters would be able to save the barn.

On Monday, Northport Fire Chief Paul Rooney said the fire was contained to the house and the barn was unharmed. He said firefighters were also able to keep a 200-pound propane tank that was next to the house cool so it did not explode.

Because of the extent of the damage, the cause of the fire could not be determined. Rooney said that the Fire Marshal opted not to investigate; he would have nothing to work with.

"The only thing they had was a propane heater, and [Metcalf] said she hadn't been cooking anything." Rooney said. "When she opened the door it kind of exploded, so something was burning that was just waiting for oxygen."

Water to fight the blaze came from a hydrant installed about a year and a half ago at a property on nearby Beech Hill Road. Before it was installed, getting water to fires in the area had been difficult.

Fighting fires in the winter is always a challenge, Rooney said, because of narrow, icy driveways and freezing spray.

"By the time we were done," which was not until about 10:30 p.m., he said,  "our hoses were a frozen mess."

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Jordan M Bailey
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Jordan Bailey has been working for The Republican Journal since 2013. She studied philosophy at Boston College and has experience in marine science education and journalism. She lives in Belfast.


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