BREWER, Maine — A porch fire that spread to the attic of a four-unit apartment house on Hobbit Way early Monday morning was noticed by someone driving by, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Dore said.
“They stopped, backed up … saw the flames and called 911,” he said of the motorist.
The fire, which displaced at least six adults and three children, was reported at 1:55 a.m.
“When the guys arrived, the front porch area was heavily involved in fire and it was extending up to the roof of the building,” Dore said.
The fire heavily damaged the front right apartment, where two adults and two children lived. A second adjacent apartment, where two adults and a teenager resided, had smoke and water damage, the assistant chief said.
“There was a lot of damage in that end of the apartment building,” Dore said of the right side of the apartment house.
When the fire made its way from the first apartment into the attic of the adjacent apartment, “we stopped it right there,” the assistant chief said.
The blaze burned the roof off the back of the right side of the building, but there wasn’t any fire in the main living area of the adjacent apartment, Dore said.
The other two apartments had no damage, except possibly for the smell of smoke, he said.
Firefighters from Bangor and Holden assisted Brewer firefighters at the scene and Orrington covered the station, Dore said. The crews returned to their stations by 4 a.m. No injuries were reported.
Ed Archer, senior fire investigator for the state fire marshal’s office, arrived about 8:30 a.m. to begin his search for the cause.
“It started on the front porch, [but the cause is] undetermined,” Sgt. Joel Davis, spokesman for the fire marshal’s office, said Monday afternoon. “It’s still under investigation. He’s still doing some interviews.”