April 07, 2020

Burnham fire leaves 2 homeless

BURNHAM — A father and son were left homeless Sunday morning after a fire destroyed the two-story house they were renting.

“The house was engulfed in smoke,” said Brian Kenney, owner of Patterson Store, near the burned home. Nobody was injured.

Kenney was with Terry Smith, who was renting the house on Horsebac Road, when they saw the fire from the store on the Lower Road.

“We left from here, and the house was involved in flames,” Kenney said. “There was nothing we could do.”

Kenney said Smith’s 16-year-old son, Travis, was inside the house when the fire started. The boy and the family’s German shepherd, DJ, were safely outside when Kenney and the boy’s father arrived. A pet ferret was killed in the fire.

The teen-ager said he smelled smoke in the house and opened the cellar door, where the wood stove was located, when smoke came out, according to Kenney.

The cause of the fire was unknown.

Linda Pomeroy, a store employee, said local people were shocked by the fire.

“We’ve known the whole family for years,” Pomeroy said. “The family is spending the evening at a friend’s camp. We have no electric, but as along as they have a roof over their heads and heat, they’ll be OK.”

Kenney said both the Smiths and the people they were renting the house from have no insurance.

“They lost everything,” the store owner said.

He said the store is collecting donations for the family and that some donations have already been brought to the store.

Burnham Assistant Fire Chief Charlie King was on the scene Sunday but could not be reached for comment.

Firefighters from Burnham, Pittsfield and Unity extinguished the fire shortly before dark.

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