May 25, 2018
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Two-alarm fire destroys Brunswick home, damage pegged at $1 million

By Beth Brogan, Times Record

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A two-alarm fire Thursday night destroyed a two-story home on the tip of Mere Point.

Approximately 80 firefighters from nine communities fought the fire at 41 West Marginal Way, a single-lane dirt road at the end of a web of other small roads overlooking Maquoit Bay. The home’s last assessed value was $402,300, according to the Brunswick assessor’s office.

Brunswick Fire Chief Ken Brillant said this morning that he estimates the total loss to be close to $1 million.

The Brunswick Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 7:15 p.m. The first crews arrived 10 minutes later to find a three-car garage ablaze and the fire already reaching the main home, Brillant said at the scene Thursday night.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but homeowners Marge and Robert Healing arrived as firefighters continued to knock back flames near 9 p.m.

“When we got here, the garage was fully involved and starting to collapse, and the fire was already in the main house,” Brillant said. “The propane tanks were blowing off … and at the neighbors’ home, too.”

The adjacent home, 37 West Marginal Way, owned by Doug and Nicole Niven, suffered “secondary” damage, Brillant said. On the other side of the now-destroyed structure, firefighters held the blaze from spreading to another home about 15 feet farther down the peninsula.

Brillant said the narrow, dirt roads were far from the only obstacles to dousing the fire.

“We had some serious water issues,” he said.

Crews drew water from a nearby fire pond and then set up hoses to draw from the Mere Point Boat Launch.

Doing so used up precious manpower, he said, which left front-line firefighters shorthanded.

The Healing home was a total loss, Brillant said.

A Brunswick Police Department detective was on the scene investigating, and the Maine State Fire Marshal’s office was en route Thursday night to look into the cause, due to the “large dollar loss, with an unknown cause,” according to Brillant.

Brillant reported the fire under control at approximately 9:30 p.m. — two hours after the first crews arrived on scene.

But he expected firefighters to remain on the scene for several hours more to douse the remaining flames and embers.

“We’re going to be here for awhile,” he said.

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