A small but severe thunderstorm hit parts of Western Maine Monday night, leaving dozens of downed trees, a burning home, and a crashed tractor trailer.
“Our crews were out all night,” said Fryeburg Fire Chief Andy Dufresne. He estimated the strong winds took down 25 trees, causing five road closures.
On Route 302, a tree completely blocking the road caused a tractor trailer carrying diesel fuel to crash. The branches punctured the truck’s tanks, causing a chemical spill that complicated clean-up efforts, and prolonged the road closure.
The 31-year-old truck driver from New Hampshire was not injured, according to Fryeburg Police.
In Raymond, a lightning strike started a house fire on Roosevelt Trail road.
“It was a huge clap,” Amber Rickett remembered. She was inside her home with her step-dad, and they both started smelling smoke.
“Smoke started coming from everywhere…. The door was on fire,” she said. The family escaped, but watched their basement burn. They expect to be displaced from their home for several months.
“Just in a split second, your whole life can change,” she said.