Overloaded extension cord blamed for Veazie fire

Posted June 18, 2012, at 3:23 p.m.

VEAZIE, Maine — Too many items plugged into an extension cord caused it to short out and catch fire early Saturday morning at a three-unit apartment building on Olive Street, Veazie fire Lt. Nick Sirois said Monday.

Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office, with assistance from Veazie fire Lt. Ken Roy, made the determination Monday.

“It was an overloaded extension cord that was plugged in on the second floor and ran up to the attic” to power a fan used to circulate air, Sirois said. “It shorted out.”

The fire at 1026 Olive St., which housed four tenants, was reported about 2 a.m. Saturday, when a second-floor tenant was awakened by a smoke detector, found her apartment filled with smoke and called for help.

Everyone escaped without injury, and firefighters from Veazie, Orono and Old Town contained the fire within 20 minutes of their arrival, Veazie fire Capt. Pete Metcalf said.

Because of the building’s age and construction style, firefighters remained on scene for several hours making sure the fire did not reignite.

The building had significant smoke and water damage, but most of the fire damage was contained to where the extension cord was plugged into the wall, Sirois said.

BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this story.

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