Historic Central Maine Home Destroyed By Christmas Eve Fire
According to a post on the KJ website, a Christmas Eve morning blaze destroyed an historic home in Gardiner.
The fire at the Laura E. Richards House. located at 3 Dennis Street in Gardiner, was reported at about 7 AM on Saturday morning.
According to Gardiner Fire Chief Rick Sieberg, there were two people at home when the fire broke out. Both occupants made it out, but one was taken to the hospital because he received burns on his hands after he tried to put the fire out.
It appears that the fire started near a generator, which had been running following a storm-caused power outage.
The house was a complete loss. When the flames were out, the only things left standing were the chimneys. Out of concern that they would topple over on someone, a local construction company was called to demolish them.
While no one was seriously hurt in the blaze, a dog belonging to the residents did die in the fire.
The building, which is often referred to as The Yellow House, was the home of Laura Richards, the first person to win a Pulitzer Prize for biography, in 1917. The winning book chronicled the life of her mother, poet Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
The story on the KJ website explains that the home was built in 1814 and that it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Laura Richards, who was originally from Boston, along with her husband, Henry Richards, moved to the house in 1876. She wrote more than 90 books during her career.