June 24, 2018
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Fire marshal investigating blaze in Bath that ‘gutted’ rear of building

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BATH, Maine — Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office are en route tonight to a home at 69 Pearl Street after a fire gutted the entire back of the building.

Bath firefighters responded just before 8 p.m. today to find the right rear of the two-story home fully involved, with flames showing on three sides including across the back and up to the second story, Bath Fire Chief Stephen Hinds said at the scene.

Approximately 42 firefighters worked the scene, with Brunswick and West Bath providing mutual aid.

“The duty crew does a great job,” Hinds said. “They had this fire knocked down in about 10 minutes.”

Hinds said the fire started on the outside of the building, near a porch along the rear of the house.

“In the morning, you will see that the entire back of this building is burned up,” he said.

The fire was reported to dispatch by phone from the neighborhood, he said.

While Hinds said the fire is “not really suspicious,” he added that he will work with the fire marshal’s office and the blaze remains under investigation.

“Because it [started] outside, you have to dig a little deeper … you have to figure out … just what went on in the rear of that building. It opens up possibilities.”

Debbie Patterson, a special education teacher at Woodside Elementary School in Topsham, and her 15-year-old son, Nick Patterson, were at Nick’s sister’s home in Topsham when the fire broke out, Nick said at the scene.

“We were with our dog, and we found out from a neighbor that our two cats were outside, so we think everybody is ok,” he said. “We were at Cumberland Farms getting bas on the way home and we saw a fire truck go by and we joked, ‘I wonder if they’re heading to Pearl Street.’ [When we got near home], we asked a neighbor, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘Your house is on fire.’”

Hinds said the home is uninhabitable due to “a lot of heat and broken glass,” and the rear of the building was “gutted.” However, the front section can be “washed up and painted,” he said.

Nick Patterson said he and his mother would likely stay at his sister’s home tonight.


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