Kitchen fire displaces Bath family two days before Christmas, but presents are salvaged

Posted Dec. 23, 2011, at 3:50 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 2:08 p.m.

BATH, Maine — Firefighters saved presents — albeit with slightly discolored wrapping paper — from a blaze Friday morning that displaced a young Bath family just before Christmas.

Firefighters from Brunswick, West Bath and Phippsburg joined crews from the Bath Fire Department at 18 Andrews Road just before 10 a.m., Bath Capt. David Hudson told the Bangor Daily News. Bath Fire Chief Stephen Hinds said the fire was accidental, and that burners on the stove were left on and ignited items nearby.

Hudson said the kitchen fire did an estimated $50,000 in damage to the two-story wooden home, and a man in his early 30s was taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick as a precautionary measure for smoke inhalation.

Hudson said the man, whose wife and young child were not home at the time of the blaze, had been released from the hospital.

“The kitchen is burned out completely, and the residence is uninhabitable because of the smoke damage,” Hudson said.

“It’s repairable, but [the family] won’t be there for Christmas,” said Hinds.

Hinds said the couple has family in the area and has a place to stay. He said they turned down Red Cross assistance, and they believe most of their possessions are salvageable. The chief said Christmas presents, which were covered in soot and discolored wrapping paper, were a priority for responders.

“They went in and got the presents and took them out of the home,” Hinds said. “It’s a terrible time of year to have something like this happen, but [the residents are] as fine as they can be with $50,000 in fire damage to their house.”

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