Fire guts Bangor home; witnesses report seeing lightning strike

Posted July 30, 2013, at 1:12 a.m.
Emergency crews battle a fire at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets late Monday evening.
Emergency crews battle a fire at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets late Monday evening.
Emergency crews fight a structure fire in Bangor on Monday evening.
Emergency crews fight a structure fire in Bangor on Monday evening.
Emergency crews fight a structure fire at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets that destroyed a home late Monday evening in Bangor.
Emergency crews fight a structure fire at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets that destroyed a home late Monday evening in Bangor.
Melted siding hangs from a home at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets in Bangor after a fire Monday evening.
Melted siding hangs from a home at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets in Bangor after a fire Monday evening.
Firefighters check for hot spots after dousing a fire behind the Main Street Shaw's in Bangor on Monday evening.
Firefighters check for hot spots after dousing a fire behind the Main Street Shaw's in Bangor on Monday evening.
Nearby residents watch as firefighters fight flames in a house at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets in Bangor.
Nearby residents watch as firefighters fight flames in a house at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets in Bangor.
Pedestrians watch as emergency crews fight a structure fire behind the Main Street Shaw's on Monday evening.
Pedestrians watch as emergency crews fight a structure fire behind the Main Street Shaw's on Monday evening.

BANGOR, Maine — Two people were displaced and a house was gutted after a fire behind the Main Street Shaw’s late Monday night.

Witnesses reported seeing lightning strike before the fire started, according to neighbor Randy Bessette. The residents, who were living in a camper behind the house at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets while they completed renovations inside, were out for a walk when the fire started just before 11 p.m., he said.

When Bessette arrived at the fire, “there were flames at least 15, 20 feet high coming out of the front of the house, and the side of the house almost hitting the other building next door,” he said.

The fire was contained quickly, but the house appeared to be gutted.

“There was so much fire it got into the walls and ceilings and between the floors,” said Assistant Chief Anthony Riitano.

Firefighters will investigate the cause of the fire; Riitano said it was unknown whether lightning was actually the cause, although a lightning storm was rolling through the area at the time.

The residents were uninjured but lost their belongings, according to Bessette. A firefighter rolled his ankle stepping off a truck and was transported to a Bangor hospital, but it was just twisted, according to Riitano.

The American Red Cross provided housing for the residents.

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