BELMONT — Fire officials are investigating two fires that destroyed property over the weekend. Both fires broke out after dark, started in barns that were attached to older homes, and occurred when the owners of the property were out of state.
Belmont Fire Chief Mike Newhall said the first of the two fires, at 121 Brown Hill Road, was reported by a passerby at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.
“My first crew arrived and saw heavy smoke coming from the barn,” Newhall said. He said it was an “older house” with a “cattle-style barn” that was attached to the house with an ell. He said the home was unoccupied. “At this point there is nobody living there that we know of.”
The fire traveled through the ell into the home, which he said will be a total loss.
“That one’s still under investigation, the Fire Marshal was there all day yesterday,” Newhall said Monday.
Firefighters didn’t clear the scene until 5 p.m. the next day – about 22 hours after the first call.
“Everybody went home, then the second fire came in,” Newhall said.
Like the Brown Hill Road fire, a person passing by 265 Seavey Road saw a fire in the barn and called 9-1-1. The call came in at 9:52 p.m. on Sunday.
Newhall said his department was already short-handed, with five members out with illness. On top of that, the single-digit temperatures made for challenging firefighting conditions.
“We’re very fortunate that we have great mutual aid partners,” Newhall said.
“Unfortunately due to the advancement of the fire it got into the house and this will be a total loss as well,” he said.
Both barns had electrical service. Newhall said that the cause of both fires remains under investigation.
“Things are evolving from both fires,” he said.