Francestown home destroyed by fire Saturday

  • A Francestown home burned to the ground early Saturday morning.  Photos from Chris Gauthier’s Facebook page

  • A Francestown home burned to the ground early Saturday morning. COURTESY PHOTO

  • A fire destroyed a Francestown home Saturday. Photo by Jenny Fiske

  • A fire destroyed a Francestown home Saturday. Photo by Jenny Fiske

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/19/2019 5:28:31 PM

A Francestown home was completely destroyed by a fire early Saturday morning.

The fire at 498 Pleasant Pond Road likely started around midnight Saturday morning, said former resident Chris Gauthier, but a passing motorist was the first to alert the Fire Department hours later.

“Everything that was left of my mom is gone. The piano where I spent so much time is gone. The wood stove (that I stubbed my toe on so hard that my toenail still isn’t right 30 years later) is gone. The horrible green carpet is gone. Everything left of my childhood memories, gone. I’m not even sure how to process this,” Gauthier said in a Facebook post.

Fire Chief Larry Kullgren said he received the call at 4:48 a.m. and was on the scene in less than five minutes.

“The structure was almost completely consumed” by the time Kullgren arrived, he said, and the fire had compromised the quonset huts and woodshed on the property and had spread into the surrounding woods.

“The bulk of the fire was knocked down fairly quickly,” he said.

The Francestown fire department received mutual aid from the Greenfield, Bennington, Lyndeborough, New Boston and Deering fire departments, all of whom were on the scene until noon.

Kullgren said the cause of the fire remains undetermined, but he’s working with the State Fire Marshall’s office in an investigation. The completeness of the destruction caused by the fire will complicate the investigation, Kullgren said.

The residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire. Gauthier said his father Richard Patten, who is the homeowner, lives in Deering.

For Gauthier, the losses were sentimental.

“Thankfully, my father was not in the house at the time. He had moved to another home in Deering some time ago, and no one was living in the home at the time of the fire,” Gauthier said to the Ledger-Transcript via Facebook messenger. “The house as been in the family for a very long time. It was my father’s childhood home. We moved there in 1984, renting from family that owned the property. In 2006, my parents purchased the property. The home was an important part of my life. I was there from the time I was 11 years old until I moved out for college. It’s where my grandmother spent her final days, and where my mother died in 2012. We still had a lot of her things inside the house, as well as many pictures, books, and other memories. I’m not sure what my dad will do next. He owns a home in Deering, so he’s not without a home. At this point, we’re just waiting to hear more from whomever is looking into the fire to know how to proceed.”


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