Blaze damages Colonial-era house in Sturbridge; Electrical space heater believed to have caused afternoon fire.


Byline: Craig S. Semon STURBRIDGE - An electrical space heater sparked a fire yesterday that heavily damaged one of the oldest homes in town. The Fire Department responded to an emergency call about 3 p.m. at 3 Old Stagecoach Road in the Fiskdale section. When firefighters arrived, flames were coming out of the windows in the back of the house, Fire Chief Leonard E. Senecal said. "We were told (by the owner) that a space heater was heating the bathroom area," Chief Senecal said. After doing some errands, the homeowner, Francine G. Gadomski-Gentry, came home and found smoke billowing out of the bathroom. "And there was a lot of smoke in that area and she couldn't take it anymore, so she got out of the building and got her animals out," Chief Senecal said. Ms. Gentry, who has lived in the 234-year-old Colonial home since the late 1970s, put her two dogs inside a fenced pen in her backyard, a safe distance from the fire, then went to her neighbor across the street to call for help. Out of harm's way, the two dogs watched firefighters battle the blaze for an hour and overhaul the structure several hours more. Ms. Gentry was taken by Brimfield Ambulance to Harrington Memorial...

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