FORT KENT, Maine — Crews from four fire departments were unable to save a single-family home in Fort Kent after an early morning chimney fire rapidly spread into the attic Monday, according to Fort Kent Fire Chief Ed Endee.
On Tuesday Endee said his department received a call at 7:39 a.m. reporting a chimney fire at the St. John Road residence of Norman and Mary Marquis. While en route they received word the fire had escaped the chimney and was spreading into the attic.
By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, Endee said, the fire was fully involved between the home’s double roof.
“It was a hard fire to fight,” he said. “We were using saws and it was very hard to get to.”
Firefighters were also fighting frigid temperatures which Endee said caused hoses and hose connectors to freeze.
“I had a school bus there for the guys to warm up,” he said.
Endee said Mary Marquis was home at the time and had noticed ashes outside of the house. He said she called a neighbor who subsequently discovered the fire in the attic.
Norman Marquis was traveling out of state, Endee said.
Firefighters from Fort Kent, Frenchville, St. Francis and Clair, New Brunswick, remained on the scene until 3 p.m.
Endee said the house was a total loss due to fire and water damage, but said firefighters were able to salvage numerous personal items from inside the home.