Fire destroys vehicles, burns home

The fire at 24 Adrian Road claimed an RV, a car and damaged the home.

(Photo by Craig Meister)

For Craig Meister, it’s been difficult in recent days to keep thoughts of what could have happened out of his head.

Meister and his family narrowly escaped a fire that started in their recreational vehicle parked in their driveway and spread to their home at 24 Adrian Road.

The couple woke up around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 18 to the sound of someone pounding on their bedroom windows at the back of the house and yelling that there was a fire.

The woman, whose name they did not get, was driving down Blue Hill River Road and saw the ball of glowing light from the burning RV and came down their dead-end street honking her horn.

Without grabbing her glasses or anything else, Meister’s wife, Lindsay Illich, a professor at Curry College, carried her 6-year-old daughter, Hazel Meister, out the front door to safety, Meister related.

“My wife was yelling fire,” he said. “We looked out. It was so bright that the light was radiating off the walls. The walls looked awful.”

Meister headed to the back door and with his son, Dobie Illich, made their way out the back door to a patio.

“Then I realized our puppy was still in the house,” said Meister, adding that he headed back in to find 7-month old Noodles, who was still inside in his crate that was tucked behind a piano in his wife’s office.

He said as he entered the office the fire had already spread into the room and the top of the rug next to the kennel was on fire.

With the roughly seven-pound cavapoo puppy in his arms, Meister turned and looked in amazement at the thick, black, heavy smoke that faced him.

“I was going to have to face the smoke,” he said, adding that he had never encountered anything so thick and heavy before.

Once he was safely outside again, Meister dialed 911 and was told that several neighbors and the good samaritan had already called it in.

At least one other neighbor and Dobie had woken up to a popping noise, likely from the burning camper, but thought at first that it was someone setting off fireworks.

Meister said as they stood in their neighbor’s yard, “We just watched, hoping the fire trucks were going to come as soon as possible.”

Meister, a former journalist, said he somewhat automatically took some photos with his cell phone. Those showed the fire clearly jumping from the RV into the house, he said.

About two minutes later, the Milton Fire Department fire trucks arrived and called a second alarm.

The RV was completely demolished and there was significant damage to the home, fire officials said.

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