DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Quick thinking by Dover-Foxcroft’s fire chief prevented serious damage to a Fern Road home Wednesday night.
Dover-Foxcroft Fire Chief Joey Guyotte said Thursday that he was the first to arrive at 103 Fern Road a little before 11 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a fire in the ceiling.
“There was a gentleman standing by the door and he pointed out where the fire was,” said Guyotte. “They had a chain saw that was on the porch. I asked, ‘Does that work?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ [I said], ‘Start it up.’”
Guyotte said he went back to his truck to retrieve a 5-pound fire extinguisher.
“He had the chain saw running and I cut a hole right around the smoke pipe, probably a foot around it,” he said. “I put the fire extinguisher in it and fired it and got out of the house.
“The [rest of the firefighters] were coming up the road [at that point],” said Guyotte. “They made quick work of it. The extinguisher numbed [the fire] long enough so they could get water and the whole works on it.”
Fire crews were on scene for about an hour, he said. No one was hurt.
The fire started because the Metalbestos brand chimney was too close to the rafters and the rafters caught fire, said the chief. That type of wood stove chimney doesn’t require much clearance from combustibles, but there wasn’t enough room at the residence.
“There was almost no clearance. Three-quarters of an inch isn’t sufficient,” he said. “You got to give a couple of inches all the way around. They’re lucky they never had a problem before.”
The Sangerville and Guilford fire departments assisted Dover-Foxcroft’s crew, said Guyotte.
There were no smoke detectors in the house, he said.
“They got two new ones this morning,” Guyotte said. “I gave it to them as part of our fire prevention fund.”
The fire wasn’t the only problem for the firefighters.
“It was 8 below [zero] when we rolled in,” said Guyotte. “We got the trucks out of there quickly and back to the station. Things can freeze up in a hurry.”