A passerby in Ellsworth saw smoke coming from the bird sanctuary a little after six Sunday night and called the fire department.
No birds were hurt in the blaze, but the 19th century home was damaged, as were some of the original artifacts and pieces inside.
Those in charge of the Birdsacre, Standwood Wildlife Sanctuary, like former Stanley Richmond, know the results could have been much more devastating. “We’re so fortunate that we’ve got a structure to work from, that we can always repair the wood and get it back structurally. The difficulty that we’re going to have is we can never get back to the total interior and the possessions that were in there.”
The Stanwood Homestead was started by Richmond’s parents, then he ran it. Now, his son is the president of Birdsacre.
This 19th Century home was the museum and historical part of the sanctuary.
Because it is a landmark in Ellsworth, fire crews also took every precaution as they fought back the flames, according to Ellsworth Fire Chief Richard Tupper. “The fire was contained to a relatively small area. There is some smoke and heat damage and water damage throughout the building, but the crews did a real good job trying to bring together the antiques and put salvage covers over them to protect them as best we could.”
One firefighter fell into a stairway, and had some minor injuries according to the fire chief. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay.
Once fire officials are done with their investigation, the work will begin for those at Birdsacre to restore as much as possible and have the home be the centerpiece of the sanctuary it once was according to Richmond.
“It’d be too easy to just shovel all the dirt and the black out and get rid of it it. There goes the history and we’ve got to be very, very, careful about maintaining any of the materialism that will make us understand what we had before.”
To find out more about the sanctuary visit their website http://www.birdsacre.com