Media Archive

Fire leaves family homeless

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 6, February 11, 2004

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

DOVER-FOXCROFT The family left homeless after a Feb. 1 fire that burned a mobile home on Hancock Street is in need of household items.

The home at 25 Hancock St. burned early in the morning. The fire is believed to have started when a member of the household fell asleep in a bedroom with a cigarette burning, according to Dover-Foxcroft Fire Chief Joe Guyotte.

"They lost everything, especially furniture and household stuff," Guyotte said. "Anything would help them out." Guyotte said that some clothing was salvageable.

The fire left five homeless: home owner Steven Shapleigh and his wife Melissa Herbest-Shapleigh, along with daughters 16-year-old Amber Ware and 17-year-old Brittanny Ware, and a family friend Joe Stone. Some pet rodents and two family cats died in the blaze an orange kitten named Crazy escaped and has been seen wandering around the neighborhood.

The family did receive some assistance from the American Red Cross following the fire, according to Herbest-Shapleigh's mother, Carol Nall. According to Guyotte, the St. Augustine's Thrift Shop in downtown opened its doors to the family with clothing donations.

The family is now staying in an apartment above Nall's home in Dover-Foxcroft.

Nall said that some donations of household items are needed, as the Shapleigh family hopes to rebuild on the property as soon as possible.

"They're going to clean it up and start all over," Nall said.

The home was partially insured, according to the fire chief.

The cause of the blaze is believed to be the lighted cigarette, Guyotte said. "There was a human element, but this was not arson. It was just an accident," he said.

Nobody was injured in the fire Crews from Dover-Foxcroft, Guilford and Sangerville spent three hours fighting the blaze.

If anybody has items to donate or if anybody has seen the kitten, please call Nall at 564-0768 or the Shapleighs at 564-0747.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.