Fire marshal probing cause of Pittsfield fire

This unoccupied home at 1044 Main Street in Pittsfield sustained major damage Tuesday in a fire that was being investigated by the State Fire Marshal's office.
Christopher Cousin | BDN
This unoccupied home at 1044 Main Street in Pittsfield sustained major damage Tuesday in a fire that was being investigated by the State Fire Marshal's office.
Posted April 19, 2011, at 8:04 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Firefighters were unsure what caused an early evening fire Tuesday that destroyed a house on Main Street. No one was injured.

An unoccupied one-story home at 1044 Main St., which is about two miles out of downtown Pittsfield toward Burnham, was badly damaged in a blaze that was well under way by the time fire crews arrived. Pittsfield Fire Chief Bernard Williams said the area, which has only a couple of neighbors within sight, was blanketed with smoke when he responded to the 6:15 p.m. call.

“I didn’t think there was going to be anything left,” said Williams. “About the time I stopped was when the roof blew through.”

Williams said the home contained building materials and tools, suggesting renovations were going on. He said the fire appeared to have started in the basement and “burned all the way up through.” An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was en route to the scene Tuesday evening.

Williams said at the scene that he still was trying to determine who owns the building. Neighbors said the occupants of the home, who were renters, had moved out recently. The owner, a woman who the neighbors thought lives in Etna, was having the home renovated. Both Williams and the neighbors said there had been work crews in the home Tuesday. Electricity in the home was turned on despite its vacancy.

Crews from Pittsfield and Burnham extinguished the blaze while a truck from Newport covered the Pittsfield fire station.

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