WOODVILLE, Maine — East Millinocket and Medway firefighters battled miserably icy conditions but could not save a small 1½-story house at 57 Faloon Road from a fire Monday night, leaving several people homeless, officials said.
A neighbor to the residence who asked not to be identified said he was driving on Faloon Road when he saw the glow from the flames.
“I drove up to see if anybody was home to make sure there was nobody in there. They weren’t; they were up visiting their neighbors,” the man said.
Penobscot Radio Communication Center dispatchers said the 911 call from the fire, which the man said was made by his wife, came in at about 8 p.m.
East Millinocket Fire Chief Les Brown said the icy conditions caused by Monday’s storm forced firefighters to drive with extra caution.
“The conditions really were warm last night. The problem was getting there because road conditions were so slippery,” Brown said.
Brown estimated it took firefighters about 20 minutes to travel the approximately 9½ miles from the town Public Safety Building to the address in Woodville. When they arrived, they saw the house was already a total loss, Brown said.
“We saw fire from all four sides of the building and the roof,” Brown said.
In addition to the icy conditions, stiff gusts of wind caused the fire to rekindle often.
The cause of the fire will likely never be known, Brown said. The homeowner, whose name was not available Tuesday, was not insured, so firefighters did not call the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate.
“About the only thing we know,” Brown said, “is that they burn wood here” to heat the residence.
About 20 East Millinocket and Medway fire department firefighters responded to the call. No firefighters were injured. The departments had to shuttle tanker trucks to douse the flames.
Firefighters returned to the residence at about 7 a.m. Tuesday to extinguish a rekindling of the flames, East Millinocket fire Capt. Peter Larlee said.
Faloon Road is an east-west running artery about 2 miles long between Route 116 and the Penobscot River in the north end of Woodville, about 2 miles west of Mattaseunk Lake.