Detroit family homeless after morning fire

Posted Nov. 17, 2008, at 9:34 a.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:16 a.m.

DETROIT, Maine — Fire officials are looking at a faulty furnace as a possible cause for a Monday morning fire that destroyed the Route 69 home of Madeline Wheeler and her two sons.

Wheeler had left the home to go to a pharmacy and returned to find her home in flames. Firefighters from Detroit Pittsfield Newport and Plymouth fought the fire but were unable to save the home.

Two dogs were unharmed but a third was presumed dead in the home.

A Hartland firefighter, Michael Snowman, collapsed at the scene and was rushed to Sebasticook Valley Hospital unconscious. He later died at Eastern Maine Medical Center of an apparent heart attack.

Fire marshals investigators were being called to the scene. Officials at the scene said family members had installed the furnace this past weekend.

The family had no insurance on the structure.