May 25, 2018
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Discarded cigarette ignites fire in Enfield home

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

ENFIELD, Maine — A smoldering discarded cigarette caused a fire that damaged a portion of a home on Main Road early Tuesday night, Howland Fire Chief Phil Dawson said. No one was injured.

Homeowner Laurie Lachance said she had just returned from buying toiletries and trash bags at Bridge Street Market and started doing dishes when she smelled smoke. Tracing the odor, Lachance opened the master bathroom door and saw flames running up a wall from a small trash container about 5:25 p.m., she said.

Just as that occurred, her friend Robert Hallett was pulling his car into the driveway intent on dropping by with an iced coffee. As Lachance called 911, Hallett ran into the house. He and Lachance hustled the family dogs, a Great Dane and poodle named Tiny and Isabel, out the door and Hallett grabbed some pictures from the walls, he said.

Dawson said it was fortunate that Howland volunteer firefighters, who cover Enfield, got to the scene quickly. Howland Assistant Fire Chief Jason Helms and firefighter Mike Hood were the first firefighters to get into the home and doused the flames almost immediately, he said.

“It was a really good stop by the guys,” Dawson said. “They got right on it and kept it from going any farther.”

The Lincoln and Seboeis fire departments also assisted, Dawson said.

The fire appeared to have burned through a wall and slightly into a ceiling, with several fixtures apparently salvageable. A tub also was damaged. Smoke damage occurred throughout the double-wide manufactured home, which is insured for fire, said Roch Lachance, Laurie’s husband.

The Lachances were worried that smoke damage had left them with little more than the clothes they were wearing. A former hairdresser, Laurie Lachance suffers from Lyme disease and was shaken by the fire, but said she knew that it could have been far worse.

“We’ll get through this,” Roch Lachance said. “We’re just going to have to hire a carpenter.”

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