PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Presque Isle couple lost everything they owned, including some family pets, over the weekend when an early morning fire gutted their home.
Rich Wark, a deputy chief for the Presque Isle Fire Department, said Monday that the fire was reported just before 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
The manufactured home belonged to Daniel Sparks, who lived on-site at the Presque Isle Trailer Park with his wife, Roberta. The couple had two cats and a dog.
According to Wark, the couple had been using a space heater to heat the home and left it on while they went to the store just before the fire broke out. When they returned, the back part of the trailer was on fire, according to Wark.
Firefighters were on the scene for more than two hours. A cat was found dead inside the dwelling, while another cat and a dog remain missing.
The couple were not insured and are being assisted by the Presque Isle branch of the American Red Cross.
The Presque Isle Fire Department received mutual aid from the Caribou Fire Department and Crown Ambulance. Maine Public Service Co. went to the scene to cut power to the home.
Wark said the department has seen an increase in home fires in the past two months and dealt with a minor stove fire on Sunday evening.
“I think we can attribute the cause to a number of things,” Wark said Monday. “We have more people using space heaters and other alternative means to heat their homes because of the cost of oil and wood.”
He added that the department also has seen an increase in the number of carbon monoxide detectors that are going off.