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Cause of Hampden fire ‘hard to determine’

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
A Newburgh firefighter pulls a hose out of the remains of a house on Merchant Road in Hampden on Sunday, April 15, 2012. Numerous fire departments incuding Bangor went to the fire which was located off a dirt road in Hampden.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — Massive damage to a two-story home that burned to the ground Sunday afternoon may prevent fire investigators from figuring out its cause, a local fire official said.

“The cause will be hard to determine because of the extent of the damage,” Hampden firefighter Matt St. Pierre said Monday. “It’s totally gone.”

The house at 1391 Kennebec Road is located at the end of a mile-long private dirt road on the outskirts of Hampden. The fire, which was discovered at around 3:15 p.m. by neighbors, was discovered too late for fire crews to save it, Hampden fire Lt. Dan Pugsley said Sunday.

“When I got here, the entire front wall was fully on fire and flames were starting to come out through the back windows, so it had already spread out throughout the interior of the house,” the lieutenant said.

Neighbors smelled smoke and then saw flames when they went to investigate the fire at the house owned by Aaron Snowman, who was not home as the blaze broke out.

Firefighters from Hermon, Bangor, Dixmont and Newburgh assisted Hampden crews, who fought the fire using water trucked in with tankers.

Dry conditions also led to a number of spot fires breaking out in the woods around the home that had to be extinguished, Pugsley said.

“That was our biggest focus: to keep this from running into the woods,” the fire lieutenant said.

St. Pierre said the state fire marshal’s office was called to investigate.

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