DEXTER — An early morning fire Saturday forced three people from their home in Dexter.
Dexter Fire Chief Don Clukey said Sunday that firefighters were called to a home on Farrar Road, three miles from town, at 3:17 a.m.
New tenants in the home, Cindy Lundin, Al Engstrom and one child, were awakened by smoke in time to escape the fire. Two other children were away at the time, according to the landlord, Gardiner Webber.
The fire started around a wood stove in the living room, according to Clukey. He said Engstrom discovered the smoke early enough to allow everyone to escape.
Clukey said Engstrom told him fire was around the chimney and breaking through the ceiling as the family made their escape.
Smoke detectors, taken down because of a remodeling project, sounded as the family was leaving the home.
The house was destroyed, and the family lost all of their belongings. A large attached barn used for storage was spared. Webber said the family, who had just rented the property within the last few weeks, is staying with relatives.
Dexter firefighters initially were troubled by a lack of water but received mutual aid from Corinna and Dover-Foxcroft fire departments. Sangerville Fire Department also responded to provide an additional air supply.
Investigators from the state Fire Marshal’s Office will visit the scene on Monday, but Clukey was relatively certain of the cause.
Investigators also will view the the Fara Ahearn property, which was damaged by fire on Thanksgiving Day. Clukey said the home was owned by Ahearn but occupied by her son, who was away at the time of the fire.