Orrington fire caused by spark from fireplace used for heat, fire marshal says

Posted Jan. 02, 2014, at 12:16 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 02, 2014, at 1:07 p.m.
 Crews battle a fire at a Clark Falls Road home in Orrington on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.
Nok-Noi Ricker
Crews battle a fire at a Clark Falls Road home in Orrington on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014.
Bucksport Firefighter Sam Payson walks away from a New Year's Day blaze on Clark Falls Road while other firefighters from the region battle the fire behind him. Mutual aid partners from Brewer, Eddington, Holden and Bucksport assisted Orrington Fire Department crews, and a tanker from Hampden was called in to assist with the Jan. 1, 2014 fire.
BDN photo by Nok-Noi Ricker | bdn
Bucksport Firefighter Sam Payson walks away from a New Year's Day blaze on Clark Falls Road while other firefighters from the region battle the fire behind him. Mutual aid partners from Brewer, Eddington, Holden and Bucksport assisted Orrington Fire Department crews, and a tanker from Hampden was called in to assist with the Jan. 1, 2014 fire.

ORRINGTON, Maine — The New Year’s Day fire that displaced a family of five on Clark Falls Road stemmed from a fireplace they were using to heat the home, Sgt. Ken Grimes of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said Thursday.

“It’s accidental,” the fire investigator said. “It appears to have started around the fireplace that was being used as a heat source.”

A spark from the fireplace fell on some combustibles and flames quickly spread through the split-level home, Fire Chief Mike Spencer said.

The family was in the process of remodeling the home, the fire chief said. The home is owned by Kelli Duanais, according to Spencer and real estate listings for the town.

The fire was reported at about 2 p.m. Wednesday by neighbors. Jay Spox was outside working on a snowmobile engine with his son, Kyle, when they noticed the flames.

Spox attempted to extinguish the flames himself with three fire extinguishers but quickly ran out of firefighting foam, he said. One of the residents of the home, who had left just minutes before the flames were visible, returned a few minutes later to find black smoke and flames devouring the structure.

“He was devastated,” said Spox, who said he only knows his neighbors by their first names.

Kyle Spox attempted to kick in one door in an attempt to free their neighbor’s dog. Spencer said Thursday that the dog perished in the fire.

The fire brought firefighters from Orrington, Brewer, Eddington, Hampden, Holden and Bucksport to assist Orrington crews, the fire chief said. No injuries were reported, although a floor collapsed during the fire and forced firefighters to exit the building and fight the fire from the outside, Spencer said.

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