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Salisbury Harbormaster's Home Heavily Damaged By Fire

SALISBURY (CBS) -- A historic home in Salisbury went up in flames Saturday afternoon. The house, which belongs to Salisbury Harbormaster Ray Pike and sits on the Merrimack River, is damaged but still standing.

Pike grew up in the home and lives there with his wife and family today. Passerbys alerted them to the flames.

A fire broke out at the Salisbury Harbormaster's house Saturday (Photo Courtesy: Tim Whelan)

"I noticed that the fire was just in the garage so I ran back in and got my shoes and my boots and my phone and our important papers and my mom's wedding albums and my daughter's baby pictures and came out the door," said wife Wendy Pike.

The fire originally broke out in the garage and then spread to the main structure. Flames and smoke could be seen throughout the community.

"My daughter's bedroom -- that had pretty serious flames coming out of there for a while," said Harbormaster Ray Pike. "Everything else I think should be water damage except maybe the back corner."

By the time fire crews got there the flames were intense. "The first arriving crew had quite a problem on their hands. They had a very heavy volume of fire, very limited staffing and quite a distance for water supply so they had a lot of challenges to overcome, requested a lot of resources right away," said Fire Chief Scott Carrigan.

He added that no one was injured and the cause is under investigation.

Wendy has a theory, though. "We have a three-car garage and the flames were just shooting out the side and the roof. We had a wood stove in the garage so it was probably the wood stove."

Ray agrees, "I had a wood stove that I had started earlier in the morning and I went in the house for about 45 minutes, I didn't think anything was wrong, obviously something was."

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