South Portland apartment fire sparked by overloaded extension cord

Posted March 06, 2013, at 12:08 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A quick response by South Portland firefighters enabled them to quickly contain a blaze at a Sawyer Street apartment building on Tuesday, Chief Kevin Guimond said Wednesday.

The fire started in a man’s third-floor unit at approximately 1:58 p.m., and South Portland fire crews were on the scene within two minutes, the chief said.

Firefighters had the blaze out within 15 minutes, according to Guimond, containing it to the third-floor unit. Smoke and flames were billowing out of a third-story window when crews arrived.

Guimond said an overloaded extension cord in the man’s apartment caused the fire.

“He had about four things plugged into one old extension cord,” said Guimond. “It could’ve been worse.”

Guimond noted the quick response from fire personnel kept the blaze from spreading and limited the damages to the building.

No firefighters were injured in the fire and all six of the building’s tenants got out safely, Guimond said.

The building had $30,000 in damage, but first-floor tenants remained in their units Wednesday, Guimond said. Second- and third-floor tenants are being forced to stay elsewhere while the building is repaired.

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