Millinocket garage fire blamed on faulty heat lamp

Posted Jan. 05, 2009, at 9:42 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:09 a.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — A malfunctioning heat lamp was cited as the cause of a fire that gutted a garage Sunday on Maine Avenue.

Millinocket Fire Chief Wayne Campbell said firefighters were called to the Clement D’Angelo residence at 138 Maine Ave. about 7:40 p.m. and when they arrived, the cinderblock and wood-framed garage was in flames.

Campbell said the fire was a difficult one to extinguish because the garage’s wooden roof caught fire, preventing crews from entering. The garage, he said, was gutted in the fire.

Because the garage did not have an apparent heat source, such as a wood stove, the Fire Department called in an investigator from the State Fire Marshall’s Office to help pinpoint the fire’s cause, Campbell said.

After examining what was left of the garage, fire officials determined that the cause was a malfunctioning heat lamp.

Campbell said the homeowner had cut holes in a wooden box, placed heat lamps inside and set the box against the garage’s back wall to provide a warm place for cats to sleep in.

Campbell said no cats perished and no firefighters were injured in connection with the fire. He estimated damage to the garage at $5,000 or $6,000.

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