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Brewer apartment fire ruled accidental

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Brewer fireman use a ladder to get off the roof of 248 Center St. in Brewer on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — A fire that sent a local man to the hospital Tuesday evening has been ruled accidental, an official with the state fire marshal’s office said Wednesday.

Senior investigator Ed Archer said it appears that the fire at a duplex located at 248 Center St. was either started by a lit candle that was left unattended or by an electrical problem involving a lamp.

The man who was injured was identified as Brock Murphy, 25, Archer said. He said Murphy briefly left his apartment Tuesday evening, and when he returned and opened his door about 7 p.m., he was struck by a blast of hot gas.

That, Archer said, resulted in injuries that included smoke inhalation, singed hair on the top of his head and slight burns on his face. Murphy was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment and then released.

The tenants of the other unit in the duplex got out safely, Brewer Police Chief Perry Antone said Tuesday night at the scene.

Although the fire was put out shortly after fire crews arrived, the building had extensive smoke damage as well as some fire damage, Perry said.

Archer said Wednesday that the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross has arranged for temporary housing for the building’s occupants and is meeting their other immediate needs.

He said the building, owned by Raymond Leonard of Orrington, is insured.

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