Structure fire kills cats, damages home on Mount Desert Island

Posted Dec. 28, 2012, at 8:45 p.m.

TREMONT, Maine — Three cats perished from apparent smoke inhalation but no people were hurt as a result of a structure fire Friday afternoon in the local village of Seal Cove, according to a local fire official.

The fire was reported at a house on the corner of Dow Point Road and Route 102 at around 2:20 p.m., Tremont Fire Chief Keith Higgins said Friday evening. The tenant, who rents the home from her sister, was at an event in Orono at the time. A plow truck driver with the town’s highway department saw smoke coming out of the roof of the house and reported it, he said.

Higgins said the house is an older, single-story structure and that the fire is not suspicious. It appeared to start in an interior wall before it spread up into the ceiling, he said.

“It could have been an electrical issue, but we’re not really sure yet,” the fire chief said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been contacted but Higgins said he does not know whether the office will send investigator’s to the scene.

He said he believes the home is insured.

Southwest Harbor and Mount Desert sent firefighters to help fight the blaze. Firefighters initially knocked the flames down fairly quickly, but the blaze rekindled a few hours later, Higgins said. Firefighters who had left had to return to make sure the persistent flames were fully extinguished.

“The structure is safe but the inside is gutted,” Higgins said.

He said the home is not habitable. Higgins said the department offered to contact the Pine Tree Chapter of the Red Cross, which often finds housing for fire victims, but the tenant said she likely will stay nearby with relatives.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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