Rumney family home destroyed in Saturday morning fire
Fire Chief Ken Ward said the fire was reported by family members shortly after 7 a.m. at the Buckley residence at 500 Depot St.
"A chimney fire got into the partitions and then got into the roof," he said.
Ward said it took about four hours to bring the fire under control. Firefighters could not get inside the house because the fire was too intense.
"We just couldn't do it, and it just kept spreading," he said.
Ward said it was one of the most difficult fires he's fought in his 42 years on the department.
"It's the first time I had to bring an excavator in to tear the second floor off," just to reach the flames, he said.
Homeowner Charles Buckley was driving out-of-state because of a death in the family when his children called him to tell him about the fire, the chief said.
"It was really tough on him," he said.
A pet hamster perished in the fire.
The chief said the family is staying with friends.