Fire ravages abandoned Bridgewater building

3 years ago

BRIDGEWATER, Maine — The Maine Forest Service is currently investigating an Aug. 26 fire at an abandoned house that was under demolition in Bridgewater, authorities said.

The structure fire occurred at a former home at 304 Packard Road in a secluded, forested part of Bridgewater. There were no injuries.

The Bridgewater Fire Department first received a report of the flames at 9:02 p.m. on Wednesday. Captain Lucas Bradstreet said firefighters found a house that was under demolition and “busted down into a pile,” with flames emanating from the rubble. 

About 17 firefighters from Bridgewater fought the fire with mutual aid from Monticello Fire and Mars Hill Fire, who sent tankers and firetrucks. They fought the flames for about two hours. 

The Maine Forest Service — which is heading the investigation of the incident — was at the scene of the fire on Thursday afternoon, examining and excavating the structure. Ranger Steve Wipperman, the service’s forensics specialist, collected evidence. 

Aftermath of a fire in Bridgewater that occurred a day before, on Thursday, Aug. 27. A Maine Forest Service vehicle is in the background.

Smoke was still coming from the structure as Wipperman investigated, and the smell of burnt wood was heavy in the air. The fire occurred in a heavily forested area, but did not substantially damage any surrounding forest or trees. 

Bradstreet said the damage estimate on the structure was negligible given that it was already demolished. 

“I don’t want to say it did zero dollars damage,” Bradstreet said. “But it was an old abandoned house that had been torn down and was sitting in a pile.”