Hampden fire appears to be accidental

Posted March 25, 2011, at 6:33 p.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — The owner of a two-story wood frame camp on Hermon Pond was startled to find the structure on fire after returning from a visit at his neighbor’s home Thursday night, according to Lt. Frank Coombs of the Hampden Fire Department, who said the blaze appeared to be accidental.

Coombs, who did not release the home owner’s name, said  the fire at 103 Fowlers Landing Road broke out around 9:30 p.m. Crews from Hampden, Hermon and Newburgh responded.

Firefighters were able to gain the upper hand within 15 minutes of their arrival, and as a result, the blaze was contained to the front side of the camp. But Coombs said there was significant smoke damage and the fire managed to spread to a portion of the second floor.

The location of the camp posed a challenge to firefighters, according to Coombs. He said because the access road leading to the camp was long and narrow, three departments were required to supply manpower, water and the tools needed to battle the blaze.

“The mutual aid the departments provided one another was just excellent,” Coombs said.  “Because of the police, who were on the scene first to give us a heads-up, and the efforts of three departments, we were able to knock the fire down pretty quickly.”

Coombs added that he was “99.9 percent positive” that the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical problem inside the walls of the camp.

No one was inside the home when the fire broke out, and there were no injuries related to the incident, according to Coombs and a dispatcher with Penobscot Regional Communications.

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