Fire guts Waterville apartment building, leaves eight homeless

Posted Jan. 23, 2012, at 12:01 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2012, at 1:56 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — An early-morning fire left eight people, including several children, without a home after a blaze ripped through a King Street apartment building Monday.

Waterville Fire Chief David LaFountain said the fire, which broke out just after midnight, apparently started in a clothes dryer.

The building had two apartments, according to LaFountain, and all of the tenants are from the same family. Some escaped wearing only their underwear, but it could have been a lot worse, he said.

“A good save for the smoke detectors to the point where the people got out with their lives,” he said.

LaFountain called the damage to the building extensive. He said he “wouldn’t be surprised if the insurance company completely totaled the building.”

Roughly 40 firefighters from Waterville and Winslow fought the blaze, while Fairfield firefighters covered Waterville’s station.

An ambulance crew was on the scene to make sure families stayed warm during the brutally cold night.

“One of our concerns [was] these people got out quickly and didn’t have the keys to their car,” said LaFountain.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate and was expected on the scene early Monday afternoon, LaFountain said.

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