POLAND, Maine — Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a Sunday afternoon blaze in Poland that left four people homeless and a two-story home leveled.
Poland fire Chief Mark Bosse said a passer-by reported the fire at 31 Harris Hill Road shortly after noon Sunday. Bosse said the rental home is owned by Carrie Sampson, but that the family living there — a woman and three children — were not home at the time of the blaze.
The house site is on a section of Harris Hill Road between Empire and Hackett Mills roads. Bosse said the two-story, split-level home’s location made it tough for crews on two fronts.
First, the house is set back off the road and the fire wasn’t immediately noticed by neighbors, which led to it being fully engulfed when crews arrived. And second, the long driveway leading up to the home made it difficult for crews to get to the scene with water.
Bosse said more than 40 firefighters from six departments — Poland, Mechanic Falls, Auburn, New Gloucester, Minot and Oxford — battled the blaze until just before 4 p.m., when crews cleared the scene. Another four departments — Casco, Gray, Durham and Otisfield — provided station coverage for neighboring departments.
Bosse said the woman living in the home arrived on scene and was taken to the hospital for anxiety. He said the woman asked that her name not be released and said she would be staying with relatives.
Bosse said the state fire marshal’s office has been called in to investigate. The cause and origin of the fire are still unknown and are under investigation, though Bosse said investigators were leaning toward an accidental electrical fire.
Bosse said the home was deemed a total loss and estimated the value of the structure and its contents at well over $200,000.