DARTMOUTH — Fire inspectors and the State Fire Marshal are sifting through the rubble of a South Dartmouth summer home that was destroyed Thursday in a massive fire that kept firefighters busy well into the night.

Acting District One Fire Chief Jake Bettencourt tells WBSM News the fire broke out around 4:20 p.m. Thursday afternoon at 70 Naushon Avenue on Salter's Point, and was spotted a short time later by a neighbor who saw flames and called 911.

Bettencourt says when fire crews arrived the fire was well underway. He said firefighters took up defensive positions around the home, protecting other properties nearby.

The chief says the summer home was unoccupied at the time of the fire. He estimated the size of the structure was about 3,500 square feet and was valued at about $1.2 million. He says an adjacent home did sustain some damage.

Chief Bettencourt says firefighters from both Fire Districts One and Two battled flames for more than four hours before the fire was declared out. He said a fire truck was stationed at the scene overnight to douse any hot spots. No injuries were reported.

Investigators are back at the scene Friday, hoping to learn the cause of the fire, but the chief says there's no reason to believe the fire was suspicious. He said the property is owned by someone in the Boston area.

Bettencourt says Thursday's fire is believed to be the largest structure fire in the Salter's Point area since 1977 when four houses were destroyed by flames.

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