Flames shoot from roof of large home in Concord

A 9,700-square-foot home on Bartkus Farm Road in Concord, Massachusetts, was extensively damaged in a fire Tuesday

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A large home in Concord, Massachusetts, caught fire Tuesday afternoon, prompting a response from fire departments in a dozen communities.

When firefighters arrived, flames were already shooting through the roof of the Bartkus Farm Road house, which the Concord Fire Department says is about 9,700 square feet.



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"Coming up the driveway, I saw a huge black cloud coming from the house," said neighbor Stuart Strong.

He called 911. Then he and his girlfriend, Paige Lillibridge, went over to the burning house, fearing the family and their dog could be inside.

"We went and knocked on the doors and tried to see if there was any sound or any barks or anything," said Strong.

As it turned out, no one was home. Neighbors say the family had not been living there as renovations were taking place.

Neighbors say the family had not been living there as renovations were taking place.

It took hours for firefighters to get a handle on the situation.

Water was an issue because the street is at the end of the town's water system.

The weather was a factor, as well. The intense heat required nearby towns to send extra manpower.

Authorities say firefighters from 12 other cities and towns, as well as the U.S. Air Force, provided mutual aid at the scene.

"We need to be able to rotate crews and rotate them quickly and keep them hydrated," said Concord Fire Chief Thomas Judge.

A firefighter was brought to a hospital with heat exhaustion, fire officials said.

Investigators say the damage is extensive. The home is not livable, and it's possible it may have to be torn down.

"Within like every single minute, the house just started getting engulfed in flames," said Lillibridge. "When people say every minute in a fire counts, this was a time where I realized it really does."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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