Posted Nov. 08, 2010, at 10:11 a.m.

CALAIS, Maine — A fire that started either in or near a propane-fueled furnace quickly destroyed a first-floor apartment Sunday night at an eight-unit building on Price Street.

Calais Fire Chief Dan Carlow credits working smoke detectors with alerting all of the units’ residents. Everyone evacuated safely.

Carlow said the fire call came in about 6:40 p.m. and when firefighters arrived at the scene, flames could be seen shooting from the first-floor apartment window.

Firefighters from Calais and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, which provided mutual aid, quickly knocked down the fire. Damage was contained to the single apartment, but Carlow said there was light smoke damage throughout the apartment building.

The single person living in the ruined apartment was staying with friends Sunday night, Carlow said.

Carlow said the State Fire Marshal’s Office was expected to be on-site Monday to determine whether the furnace was faulty.