June 19, 2018
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Damage in fatal Tremont fire too extensive to pinpoint cause

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The cause of last Friday’s fire in Tremont that claimed the lives of two people cannot be determined because of extensive burn damage at the scene, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Three fire investigators finished their inspection of the fire scene Wednesday and could not pinpoint a cause, though they said the fire started in the basement of the home on Route 102 in Seal Cove. Edmond Branch, 83, perished in the blaze and his wife, Eileen Branch, 78, died from severe burns the next day at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Edmond Branch was known to use commercial baking equipment located in the basement, but that has been ruled out as a cause of the fire, according to a press release from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. The equipment had not been used in years, according to the release.

The fire was reported at about 3 p.m. Friday by a neighbor. The flames moved through the Branch home quickly.

“It had such a start on us,” Tremont Fire Chief Wayne Patton told the Bangor Daily News on Saturday. “It had us beat before we even got started.”

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