DEDHAM, Maine — A man escaped unharmed but a house he and his family lived in was destroyed Sunday evening in a fire, according to local officials.
Brett Conners, 33, works nights and was asleep upstairs in his rented home at 10 Smithville Road when a smoke detector went off around 4 p.m., Dedham Fire Department Capt. Craig Shane said Monday evening.
“He thought it was his alarm clock waking him up to go to work,” Shane said. “The 9-volt battery [in the smoke detector] saved his life.”
When Conners came downstairs, flames were crawling up a wall and across the ceiling in the kitchen of the home, which was built in the early 1800s, Shane said. Conners escaped unharmed but he and his wife, who was not home at the time, lost all of their possessions, the captain said.
The home, which was insured, is owned by Dwight Smith Jr., according to Shane.
Approximately 35 firefighters from Dedham, Eddington, Ellsworth, Hampden, Holden, Orrington and the Air National Guard base in Bangor helped fight the fire, Shane said. Because of dry weather conditions, Dedham fire officials had to request extra tankers of water from Orrington, Hampden and the Air National Guard, he said.
The first firefighters to arrive found the structure with flames coming through the roof. Firefighters remained at the scene until 11 p.m. Sunday.
Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office went to the scene Monday morning but because of the amount of damage were unable to determine how the fire started, Shane said. He said the fire is not believed to be suspicious.
The Pine Tree Chapter of the Red Cross is assisting the victims, who are staying with family in the area, Shane said.