LEICESTER, Mass. — A fast-moving fire spread through a home at 4 Deer Pond Road in Leicester Friday afternoon, destroying much of the structure and killing three dogs and a cat.
The Leicester Fire Department received a call for a stove fire at the Deer Pond Road residence at approximately 12:32 p.m., but when first responders arrived two minutes later smoke was already coming out of the eaves of the home, according to Asst. Fire Chief Michael Dupuis.
With the structure nearly fully involved with fire, all three Leicester Fire companies were called to the scene, with mutual aid from Paxton and Spencer assisting while Auburn Fire provided station coverage.
"When I arrived at the scene we had fire coming out of the front door and window," said Dupuis.
Firefighters fought the fire from the outside before going through the front entrance to extinguish the rest of the flames.
"We put a hole in the roof for ventilation, and crews went in to pull the ceilings and started chasing the fire through the attic," he said. "We finally got around it and knocked the fire down."
The assistant chief said it took about 20 minutes to completely control the fire, adding that the amount of items inside the home made it more difficult.
After controlling the fire, crews ensured that no fire was still within the walls of the structure, gutting walls and pulling out much of the burnt furniture.
While Dupuis said four pets perished in the fast-moving fire, the sole male home at the time was uninjured, getting out before crews arrived. The residence is occupied by the Mason family, according to town records.
"Right now it appears accidental," said Dupuis. "They had something on top of the stove, it got going, and then it took off from there."
While the fire originated in the kitchen, it spread throughout most of the home, with smoke damaging every room.
The Fire Department is continuing to investigate the cause.