A home for new chickens in a Boscawen barn was leveled by a fire Friday that most likely started with a heating lamp.
Firefighters from multiple communities responded to the two-alarm blaze that torched the barn, but spared the house.
“It pretty well destroyed the barn and melted the siding on the back of the house but it did not extend into the house,” said Keith Gilbert, the chief coordinator for the Capital area mutual aid.
The fire was reported at 306 High St. at about 8:30 a.m., and responders said it took about half an hour to put out the flames. A nearby chicken coop also escaped unscathed.
Fire rescue officials said they believed a heat lamp likely started the fire.
“That’s the probable cause, yes. It definitely started on that side of the building, where the heat lamp was,” Boscawen fire Captain Mike Fisher said.
Departments from seven towns responded to the fire, and trucked in water from a hydrant about a mile down the home at the intersection of Goodhue Road and High Street.
The homeowner, Michael Paine, wasn’t home when the fire started, and neither was his wife, but he came back around 9:30 a.m. after a neighbor called to tell him about the fire. No one was hurt in the fire and all the animals were safe, although Paine said he’d have to buy a new tractor.
“It was a storage barn, it wasn’t an animal barn,” Paine said. The heat lamp, he added, was in preparation for chicks he was expecting to receive in the mail. The chicks will need to be relocated.
Paine said he wasn’t sure when he’d try and rebuild.
“Some way or another. I’ve got too much to even consider that right now,” he said.