Fire destroys Waterville home caused by wood stove ashes

Posted Feb. 07, 2013, at 2:59 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 07, 2013, at 7:26 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — A family escaped a Squire Street blaze Thursday that was sparked by “careless disposal of ashes from a wood stove,” according to fire officials.

Waterville fire Lt. Shawn Esler said crews were called to the 2 ½-story single-family residence shortly before 11 a.m. Three people, including a mother and daughter, who were inside the home when the fire broke out escaped.

Crews were on scene about two minutes after the call, according to Esler, but the fire had already taken hold.

“There was fire showing from all three floors,” when firefighters arrived, Esler said. “We immediately went to defensive operations.”

The home was destroyed, and the American Red Cross is assisting the family, who was renting the property, according to Esler.

“The house is what I would call a complete loss. There is virtually nothing to salvage,” the lieutenant said.

No one in the family was injured, but one firefighter was taken to the hospital after he tripped and torqued his knee while looking for fire in the floor and walls, according to Esler. The firefighter was treated and released from the hospital, but Esler said he wasn’t sure when the firefighter would return to work.

The owner of the home had insurance, according to Esler, but the tenants did not have renter’s insurance. Esler said he didn’t know if there were any working fire detectors in the home.

Fire crews from five neighboring towns were called to fight the blaze, bringing about 40 firefighters to the scene.

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