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Home of Glines family member in Canterbury destroyed in fire

A friend of the family peers over at what's left of the house at 39 Randall Road in Canterbury on November 30, 2012. Fire crews did not leave the scene of the fire at George Glines's house that started late last night in Canterbury until almost 11 AM on Friday morning. 

(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

A friend of the family peers over at what's left of the house at 39 Randall Road in Canterbury on November 30, 2012. Fire crews did not leave the scene of the fire at George Glines's house that started late last night in Canterbury until almost 11 AM on Friday morning. (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

A two-story home at 39 Randall Road in Canterbury was destroyed in a fire that broke out just before midnight Thursday. No one was injured.

The home belonged to George Glines, of the longtime Canterbury family, and he was the only one living in the house. Officials believe the fire started from a wood stove in the basement, and they do not suspect foul play, said fire Chief Peter Angwin.

Glines woke up to the smell of smoke just before midnight and saw that fire was coming from the basement. He grabbed a few things and immediately left the house and called the fire department. He is staying with his daughter for the time being.

“We don’t really know what happened, I just know that it started in the cellar and it spread extremely quickly,” Glines said. “I was able to salvage quite a few family photos, but other than that I walked out with the clothes that I was wearing.”

When the police showed up, three quarters of the house was already in flames, Angwin said, and it took about two hours to contain the fire. Firefighters remained on the scene until about 11 yesterday morning to manage the fire and make sure it would not restart. Almost the entire second floor and most of the first floor was gone, with a few charred walls still standing, and others strewn on the ground in burnt pieces. Smoke was still rising from some pieces of debris in the mid-afternoon.

There are no fire hydrants in Canterbury, so firefighters had to draw water from a brook about 1,000 feet away from the home. Two small propane tanks exploded on the deck of the house during the fire, and firefighters successfully disconnected a 250-pound propane cylinder on the side of the house and moved it.

Glines and his late wife, Susan, built the house in 1983. Susan died this February.

“Now I lost my home that we spent our lives building,” he said.

Glines’s family roots in Canterbury date back to the 1700s, and his family operates a dairy farm, Sloping Acres Farm, on West Road.

Last fall Glines’s two sons, Eric and Peter, put up a bid for a 600-acre piece of town-owned farmland. They lost the bid to Luke and Catarina Mahoney, who have since opened Brookford Farm on that property.

Bill Donoghue, pastor of Canterbury United Community Church, stopped by the property yesterday afternoon and spoke with Glines’s son Eric about ways the community and church could help. He hopes to meet with George Glines tomorrow.

The town has the Canterbury Fund, which provides financial help to families in need. It draws from donations and other funding, and some of that money will go to help Glines, Donoghue said.

“We’re trying to coordinate as much help as possible,” he said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @kronayne.)

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