Searsport fire causes extensive heat, smoke damage

Posted July 28, 2011, at 10:10 p.m.

SEARSPORT, Maine — The State Fire Marshall’s Office has been asked to help determine the cause of a fire Thursday that caused significant damage to an East Main Street residence.

Though the fire was contained to a room at the back of the two-story main house, located at 98 East Main St., that building and an attached garage with an apartment above it both received heavy heat and smoke damage, Fire Chief Jim Dittmeier said Thursday night.

Dittmeier said the fire was reported about 5:15 p.m. by a woman who was renting the garage apartment. Both she and the elderly woman residing in the main house escaped safely. Their names were unavailable Thursday night.

More than 40 firefighters from Searsport, West Frankfort, Belfast and Stockton Springs were called to the scene because of initial reports that a child was inside the house, Dittmeier said. Those fears, however, proved unfounded and most of the mutual aid firefighters were allowed to return to their respective communities, he said. No firefighters were injured, he said.

The house, garage and apartment were insured, the fire chief said. In addition, the tenant had renters insurance.

The American Red Cross is assisting the tenant, who stayed at the Bates Motel on Thursday night, Dittmeier said. The elderly woman is staying with her brother, who owns the house and whose name also was not immediately available, Dittmeier said.

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