Friday fires keep HFD crew busy

12 years ago

Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
NE-CLR-Fire-dc1-pt-22FRIDAY FIRE — Two firefighters from the Houlton Fire Department stand on the roof of Dr. Philip McFarland’s home on Bowdoin Street Friday afternoon. An electrical fire caused extensive damage to the residence.

By Joseph Cyr
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — A pair of house fires kept the Houlton Fire Department busy Friday, resulting in extensive property damage to both homes.
    Shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, firefighters were called to the 17 Porter Settlement Road home of Howard Dow when a passing motorist reported smoke coming from the eaves of the home, according to Houlton Fire Chief Milton Cone.
    Upon arrival, firefighters observed smoke coming from the eaves and attempted to make contact with the homeowner. Dow was home sleeping at the time of the incident and unaware of any problems until firefighters arrived on the scene, Cone said.
    “The sirens actually woke him up and he met us at the door,” Cone said.
    Because the fire was located in the attic area, Dow was not aware of any problems inside the home, nor did his smoke detectors alert him to any issues.
    Cone said he believes the fire was electrical in nature, originating above a ceiling light on the second floor hallway. Firefighters managed to contain the fire damage to the second level, with the bulk of the damage occurring in the attic and roof. Cone added he did not think the building was a total loss, but could not give a dollar amount on the damage.
    Twenty-two firefighters and three pieces of equipment responded to the scene, and spent nearly two hours on site fighting the flames.
    The second call of the day, which came in at 4:05 p.m., featured very similar circumstances. A neighbor spotted smoke coming from the eaves of Dr. Philip McFarland’s home on 9 Bowdoin St. Twenty-four firefighters and three pieces of equipment responded, spending nearly two hours on the scene.
    “Heavy smoke and flames were coming from under the eaves,” Cone said. “The fire appears to have started inside the home, traveled up to the attic area and made its way through the house. Because of the way the house was built, there was some difficulty getting to the fire.”
    Cone said the home suffered “severe structural damage” which required contacting the state Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate. No one was home at the time of the fire, but it is not considered suspicious, Cone added. McFarland’s two dogs were rescued from the building.
    The Fire Marshal did a preliminary investigation on Saturday and an electrical inspector was expected to examine the building Tuesday, the chief said.
    Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin said police were called to the residence later that evening for report of two televisions being stolen.