HOULTON, Maine — A Houlton woman and her two children escaped injury on Tuesday evening after a fire heavily damaged the rental home they were living in on Weeks Street.
Houlton Fire Chief Milton Cone said Wednesday that the fire was reported at approximately 4:40 p.m. The chief said that 23 firefighters responded, having initially been told that there were still individuals inside the home. Upon arrival, however, they found Ashley Belyea sitting inside a vehicle near the home with her two children, an 8-year-old girl and a 2-month-old boy.
The chief said that flames were bursting out of the windows on the east side of the first floor.
All three of the family members were taken by Houlton Ambulance to Houlton Regional Hospital to be checked out, according to Cone, but none needed to be admitted.
Firefighters were on the scene for approximately four hours.
The fire is believed to have started on the first floor in the kitchen and porch area of the home.
The structure is owned by Larry Cochran of Houlton, who had insurance. Cone said that the residence suffered significant smoke and water damage on the interior, even though the majority of the exterior is still standing.
He was not sure if Belyea had rental insurance.
Senior Investigator Tim Lowell of the State Fire Marshals Office was called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.