Officials: Dryer line likely cause of fire that gutted Carmel apartment building

Firefighters battle the blaze at an apartment in Carmel on Tuesday.
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Firefighters battle the blaze at an apartment in Carmel on Tuesday.
By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff
Posted March 19, 2014, at 10:34 a.m.

CARMEL, Maine — Officials have determined an electrical malfunction was the culprit for a fast-moving fire that leveled an apartment building on Tuesday.

Carmel Fire Chief Mike Azevedo said Wednesday a dryer line that got chafed by some ductwork ignited the fire that displaced multiple tenants in the two-and-a-half story building and shut down Route 2 in the center of town for hours.

The chief is still unclear exactly how many residents were displaced, but the American Red Cross is providing assistance.

Firefighters remained on scene until 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to Azevedo, and returned to the scene Wednesday to contain a small hot spot.

“Things are starting to sag because with the roof gone, all the stabilization stuff is not holding it together,” Azevedo said. “The roof is burnt off on the inside.”

The chief said Doug Small of Carmel owns the building, and the building is insured. The owner was in the process of getting in touch with tenants Wednesday, Azevedo said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by 5 p.m. Tuesday, and were able to turn electricity back on to Central Maine Power customers from Carmel to Newport.

A ladder truck that was brought in from Brewer operated near power poles.

“You can’t use a ladder truck within 10 feet of power lines, so we had to kill the power to get in there and do it,” said Azevedo.

Firefighters will remain on scene Wednesday attempting to salvage anything they can, according to Azevedo.

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/03/19/news/penobscot/officials-dryer-line-likely-cause-of-fire-that-gutted-carmel-apartment-building/ printed on July 28, 2014