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Franklin home destroyed in multiple fires; no one injured

Fire fighters work to make sure that the structural fire at 308 Salisbury Road in Franklin is contained; November 14, 2012.

(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff)

Fire fighters work to make sure that the structural fire at 308 Salisbury Road in Franklin is contained; November 14, 2012. (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

A house on Salisbury Road in Franklin caught fire twice yesterday, the second time engulfing the house in flames and leaving it charred and uninhabitable. No one was injured.

Firefighters responded to the first fire at 308 Salisbury Road, which sparked in the basement of the single-family home, just after 11 a.m., and the fire was out before noon. The cause of the first fire was still being investigated when the second fire broke out about 4 p.m. As of about 5:30 p.m., the fire had been put out, but firefighters were still hosing down the house to cool it off well into the evening. The cause of the fires is not yet known, and the fire marshal will begin investigating this morning, said officers on the scene.

Smoke still billowed from the windows after the fire was out, and char patterns on the house showed the path of the smoke as it rushed out of the windows and upward. Most of the structure’s siding was charred to black and falling off, but some areas near the front of the house remained a cream color. One side of the home had an extensive porch that was also partially damaged.

The owner of the house stood in a plaid shirt in his yard behind fire trucks, but he did not wish to be interviewed. The house was occupied by the man, his wife and at least one child, said Bob Goodearl, deputy fire chief in Franklin.

About 55 firefighters from 10 different agencies, as well as the Franklin Police Department, responded to the call. The Red Cross arrived after the first fire and was on scene during the second fire to aid the family. The closest fire hydrant was more than a mile away from the house, meaning multiple engines were needed to keep traveling back to the hydrant and refilling. Officers blocked off the road near the fire hydrant, located at the intersection of Salisbury Road and Sterling Drive.

Neighbors called the fire department when they saw smoke from the first fire, and multiple departments responded quickly. The family was not at home at the time, but some members arrived on scene while the fire was being put out. The family was instructed not to go back into the house after the first fire, Goodearl said. The second fire was much more severe, with smoke rising above the tree line and becoming visible from the highway.

“The first time we got here there was smoke coming out the back . . . you could tell there was fire but it wasn’t a lot of fire,” Goodearl said. “But (the second) time you could see the column of the smoke from the fire station.”

Firefighters could not enter the home because of the structural damage caused by the fire. They continued to hose down the house through the windows to ensure that the fire was completely out inside.

The house was too engulfed in flames to determine where the fire started when firefighters arrived.

Officers will begin to assess the damage and possible causes this morning. Firefighters remained on the scene to monitor the house overnight.

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

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