Old Town fire starts in 2nd-floor wall

Posted March 18, 2009, at 11:08 p.m.

OLD TOWN, Maine — A South Spring Street resident noticed a strange glow in her apartment and called her landlord, who in turn called firefighters to investigate.

The glow turned into flames in an interior wall of the woman’s second-floor apartment, and firefighters were called just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Old Town fire Lt. Matt Redding said.

The woman was able to escape her apartment without injury, and the first floor was vacant, Redding said.

The fire was in a “second floor interior wall and extended into the attic,” he said. “It got knocked down really quickly and confirmed under control in an hour.”

Firefighters then used a thermal imaging camera to scan the walls, which were filled with blown insulation, and ceiling for hot spots, Redding said.

With blown insulation “one little ember can hang out in there for quite some time,” he said. “Thermal imaging, that really helped us out a lot.”

Ironically, firefighters had been at the building earlier in the night to pump out the basement, he said.

It appears the fire was caused by an electrical problem, Redding said, adding that fire investigators returned to the scene at noon Wednesday to continue their work and try to confirm the cause.

Orono Fire Department crews assisted the firefighters, he said.

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