Fire destroys Littleton machine shop, damages nearby home

Posted Aug. 23, 2011, at 9:31 p.m.

LITTLETON, Maine — An early morning fire destroyed a machine shop Tuesday and damaged parts of a nearby house at 1552 U.S. Highway 1.

The cause of the fire, which began about 12:30 a.m. in the original section of the large shop, has not been determined, Littleton Fire Chief Dwight Cowperthwaite said Tuesday evening.

Kenneth and Suzanne Moran and their children all managed to escape safely after being alerted by a son, who smelled smoke and got up to investigate, and a passing motorist, Cowperthwaite said.

None of the children were injured, though Kenneth Moran, who suffered burns on his forearms, and Suzanne Moran, who was experiencing breathing difficulty, both were taken to Houlton Regional Hospital for treatment, the fire chief said.

Cowperthwaite said several firefighters suffered fatigue and were treated at the scene by emergency medical personnel from Monticello.

Though the shop was a total loss, he said, an aggressive attack by firefighters from Littleton, Houlton and Monticello limited fire damage to the house, which was not connected to the shop.

Winds caused the fire to spread to the roof and upper floor of the two-story house but the first floor was virtually untouched, Cowperthwaite said.

Both buildings were insured, he said. A dollar estimate for damage was not immediately available.

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