ELLSWORTH, Maine —- A shed fire and resulting explosion Friday night on South Street is being investigated by local fire officials, according to the local fire chief.
The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. Friday after an explosion in the small building, roughly 10 by 10 feet, caught the attention of a homeowner on a neighboring property, Ellsworth Fire Chief Jon Marshall said Saturday morning. The explosion was minor and the only property damage from the incident was to the shed and some minor “scorching” of an adjacent vacant home, he said.
“The house has been unoccupied for quite a while,” Marshall said.
There was some initial confusion about whether the fire involved a vehicle, the fire chief said, but firefighters who arrived on the scene within minutes of the report realized there was no nearby vehicle and it was just the shed that was on fire. The firefighters had the fire under control and extinguished within a few minutes, he said.
Marshall said the explosion inside the shed likely was a paint can or some other type of container that had heated up as a result of the fire. There was no power connection to the shed, but there was to the adjacent vacant house, he said. The shed has been demolished, he said.
Marshall said the fire’s origin likely had some sort of human element to it, but beyond that he did not speculate. He said one of his officers was expected to investigate the scene Sunday to determine what the cause might be.
Marshall said that, due to the small scale of the blaze, he did not expect to request assistance from the State Fire Marshal’s Office in investigating the cause.