UXBRIDGE — Firefighters from seven towns battled a fast-moving blaze Monday that gutted a single-family home on Johnson Street and left two people homeless.
The fire broke out around 1:50 p.m. at 86 Johnson Road, a two-story residential dwelling owned and occupied by Dea Useinoski and her boyfriend, Michael. The couple had lived in the home for the past five years.
The fire quickly spread and destroyed the home, which was unoccupied at the time, before it was brought under control shortly before 3 p.m. No injuries have been reported.
The cause of the fire was not known as of press time last night, but fire officials are looking at the a wood stove, which was used to heat the house, as a possible cause.
"I don't know what happened," said a visibly distraught Useinoski, who was standing across the street from the fire being comforted by neighbors and friends.
"I left the house this morning like a normally do and everything was okay," she said. "We have a wood stove, but it was fine when I left. We didn't do anything differently."
Useinoski was in Woonsocket at the time helping to reopen a new restaurant in the city when she received a call from a neighbor that her house was on fire.
Another neighbor and friend, who lives across the street from the burned home, was with Useinoski when she got the call about the fire.
"This is just devastating, but luckily there was no one inside and everyone is safe," she said.
Joe Barber and his wife, Alberta, who live down the street, said Johnson Road is a tight-knit neighborhood where "neighbors help each other out."
"You can stay with us if you need to," Joe barber said as he hugged Useinoski.
Upwards of 50 firefighters from Uxbridge, Douglas, Sutton, Hopedale, Upton, Northbridge and Nasonsville were on hand to fight the blaze. Johnson Road, like many areas in town, is located in a remote area of town off Aldrich Street (Route 98). There is no public water and homeowners rely on wells.
Water to fight the fire had to be brought in by tanker trucks.
-- PHOTO BY MATT GREGOIRE