It had a good head start, and by the time firefighters began battling the blaze at 286 Old Harbor Road, Westport, early Saturday, there was little chance of saving the old house.
A tenant alerted the fire department at 1:38 a.m. Saturday after returning to find it ablaze.
When the first engine arrived, firefighters reported that flames and smoke had filled the old (circa 1740) building and were pouring from windows on the first and second floors.
Efforts to extinguish the fire were hampered by wind, cold and especially the lack of fire hydrants.
Tiverton and Little Compton firefighters assisted by carrying water from sources a mile and a half distant aboard tanker trucks. The house is located just yards from the Little Compton line about a mile south of Adamsville village.
Crews at the fire assisted the tenant who had suffered what was described as a minor injury while trying to rescue items from the house before firefighters arrived. He was taken by ambulance to Charlton Memorial Hospital and later released.
As of Sunday afternoon, no determination as to the origin and cause of the fire had been made and the fire remained under investigation.
The Red Cross was contacted to assist the tenant with obtaining temporary shelter. Fall River crews assisted with another rescue call in town during the fire.
The house’s owners are listed as Michael and Jennifer Coye of Westport. It has an assessed value of $489,300.
According to an earlier real estate listing, the renovated house contained three bedrooms and two baths in 2,472 square feet of living space. It sits on a 2.5 acre lot.
“Renovated Farmhouse Cape delivers charm and comfort. Open sunny plan with antique features,” states a real estate listing — asking price was $619,000.