LEVANT, Maine — Richard Wade heard a loud “pop” coming from the basement of his Overlock Road home Monday morning, and when he when to check on the noise, he saw thick black smoke coming up the downstairs steps.
“I just grabbed him [his one-year-old baby boy] and ran,” he said, the family dog, Max, on his heals.
The fire was kept in the basement but, sadly, two cats were caught in the blaze and didn’t make it, said Nathan Perry, Levant assistant fire chief.
“They were downstairs and overcome with smoke and heat,” he said, adding there were no other injuries reported.
Firefighters got the call for help at 8:36 a.m. and found flames in the basement when they arrived. Luckily, soon after plastic water pipes in the basement melted, Perry said.
“The water sprayed and snuffed it [the fire] out,” he said. “We got it under control real quick.”
The damage to the home, which was insured, was kept in the basement, which has significant heat, water and smoke damage, Perry said.
As firefighters battled the blaze, Wade sat in a car parked along the side of the road with his wife, Brook, and his young son safely secured in his car seat eating breakfast.
The basement of the one-story home was made into a bedroom for the couple’s older son, who was at school, Brook Wade said.
“It could have been worse,” she said.
The family moved into the home about six months ago. The fire appears to have started near a computer desk, the assistant fire chief said.
Firefighters from Herman, Carmel, Kenduskeag and Stetson assisted local crews, who were back at their station by 11 a.m.