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Fire destroys house in East Spencer

By Sara Gregory
sgregory@salisburypost.com
An East Spencer family is without a home after a Saturday afternoon fire ripped through and destroyed it.
No one was at the 724 Tanglewood Dr. home when the fire started around 3 p.m. Cars parked in the driveway and toys in the yard made initial onlookers worried that someone was inside.
“I started hollering for anybody,” Cain Wilson said. “I hit the back door real hard.
“Seeing all the toys and cars, you’d think someone was in there.”
The house’s owner and his wife were out of town. David and Liliana Portillos, another couple, also lived at the home, as well as two children. The family has lived at the home for only a few months.
The Portilloses arrived back at the home shortly after the fire began, East Spencer police Officer Larry Melton said.
“They’re just devastated,” he said.
Neither David nor Liliana speak much English, but a relative, Edwin Cardenas, said the Portilloses will stay with family until they can find a new home. The East Spencer home was fully consumed by the blaze.
Cardenas said he had just been by the house but no one was home. When he came back about 20 minutes later, the house was in flames.
Melton was the first to respond to the 911 call. He went to knock on the back door, also thinking people were inside.
“It was just popping,” he said.
The flames appeared to start in a front room on the right of the house, Melton and Wilson both said.
The flames had spread, and Melton said the structure was fully involved within about five minutes, before firefighters could arrive.
“They got in as quick as they could,” he said. “These guys run into something everyone else runs out of.”
An hour after the 911 call, firefighters still were trying to extinguish the blaze, which shot out of rafters.
“It took a long time because it had double ceilings,” said Union Fire Chief Steve Cauble, one of the firefighters who responded.

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