LINCOLN, Maine — Gusting winds pushed a dryer fire into the attic of an Enfield Road home owned by the parents of a town firefighter, doing heavy damage Tuesday before firefighters doused it, officials said.
No one was injured, but at least two people were left homeless, Fire Chief Phil Dawson said.
Firefighters suspect that a spark that was blown out the exhaust of the dryer ignited lint in the exhaust pipe which in turn set fire to the exterior of the house at 322 Enfield Road and raced into the attic through a ridge vent, Dawson said.
When homeowner Kevin Priest noticed the smoke and flames, he immediately saw that there was little he could do except call 911, which he did, at about 12:50 p.m., Dawson and Penobscot Regional Communications Center dispatchers said. When Dawson and other first responders got to the house several minutes later, heavy damage already had been done.
“The wind was blowing pretty strong up there and was pushing the fire right across the attic and the roof pretty hard,” Dawson said Tuesday. “We just had to play catch-up.”
One team of firefighters attacked the fire by going in through a front door while another group hit it while atop a ladder from the windward side of the roof. Howland volunteer firefighters responding to a mutual aid call from Dawson, who is also their chief, arrived soon after and were very helpful, he said.
Firefighters tried to limit the extension of the flames by cutting into and tearing away portions of the attic and ceiling of the 1½-story split-level home, but Dawson said it was difficult to say whether they were ultimately successful in saving the house or most of its contents.
“From the ceiling up it’s destroyed, and the roof was very heavily damaged, but except for the water pouring down, the things inside the house are probably pretty salvageable,” Dawson said.
Lincoln firefighter-engineer Jeremy Priest is the son of Kevin and Michele Priest, Dawson said.
The fire flared up again shortly before 8:30 p.m. and firefighters were sent to quell it, dispatchers said.