On Sunday, May 1, an early morning blaze destroyed a riverside home in Grafton.
Woodstock Fire Department responded to a fire call at 5049 Route 105, about a kilometre north of the Grafton exit of the Woodstock-Grafton bridge, at 5:49 a.m.
Woodstock Fire Chief Harold McLellan said no one was home at the time, as the family was out of town.
He said smoke filled the house's interior when firefighters arrived on the scene.
The chief said firefighters attempted an interior attack upon arrival but had to evacuate the two-storey structure for safety reasons.
"It became too dangerous," he said.
McLellan said the fire had already destroyed stairs, blocking access to the second floor, and the floors and ceilings quickly became unstable.
McLellan called in the Hartland Fire Department for mutual aid, which provided tankers and its ladder truck.
Hartland Fire Chief Mike Walton also attended the fire scene. He said someone told him the home's residents were in Grand Manan.
As he oversaw the fire crews, McLellan said it was his understanding that the homeowners would be back home Sunday night. He said he couldn't confirm the homeowner's name at this time.
He said the fire gutted the entire structure, adding the house was a total loss. The ladder truck enabled fire crews to soak the already collapsing roof with water.
McLellan and Walton said the house sat in the picturesque setting overlooking the St. John River for at least a century.
In a conversation with neighbours and others, Walton said that they calculated the building is "well over 100 years old."
McLellan said the building has probably been renovated several times over the years.
Walton said someone informed him the house was currently under renovation.
McLellan said it's too early to determine the cause of the blaze, but an investigator from the fire marshal's office attended the fire scene. He talked to the chief and others while the crews battled to bring the blaze under control.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun