By GEORGE W. CLAXTON, Recorder Staff
CONWAY - A house on Main Poland Road was destroyed by fire early Friday morning after a chimney fire spread to the attic, according to Conway Fire Chief Robert Baker.
Baker said that the fire began in the asbestos stovepipe of a wood stove just before 1 a.m. and then spread into the attic and the roof.
"By the time the homeowner noticed it, it was already burning out through the roof. It's a shame, they just moved in there last summer," Baker said.
The owner of the new two-story house, David M. Beaudet, was at home along Friday morning, according to Baker, as his wife and two children were away.
"The house is approximately 70 percent gone. The top floor is gone," Baker said. "I estimate the damage at $300,000 to $350,000."
Because of the amount of water poured onto the blaze, fire officials say, even the furniture and other goods on the first floor were badly damaged.
According to Baker, Beaudet will be staying with his brother-in-law in South Deerfield as the house on Main Poland Road is not habitable.
Beaudet could not be reached as of press time.
The fire was diffucult to fight, the chief said, as all of the nearby brooks and streams were frozen.
"We had to haul water from three miles away. We called in nine towns to help fight the fire and two firefighters were injured, slightly, when they slipped on the ice," he said.
Mutual aid companies that responded to the fire include Williamsburg, Goshen, Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Shelburne Center, Old Deerfield, South Deerfield and Whately. The Sunderland Fire Department responded to cover the Conway station during the fire.
"It took us 2 1/2 to three hours to get it under control, " Baker said.
According to the fire chief, the house was insured.
(February 10, 2007)