SWANVILLE, Maine — The fortuitous arrival of friends from Belfast likely prevented the John Hines home on the Stevens Road from going up in flames Monday afternoon.
Steve Boyle and Rebecca Simpson went to the home to deliver a large screen television, and when they arrived at 1 p.m. and opened the door they were greeted with thick, acrid smoke.
Leaving the TV on the porch, the two entered the home and observed flames rising from the floor near a water tank.
While Simpson called the fire department, Boyle crawled across the floor, opened the back door and filled a bucket with water from and doused the flames.
“The flames were going right up the wall,” Simpson said. “If we had got there five minutes later this house would be gone.”
Boyle speculated that an electrical cord from the water pump may have shorted out and started the fire.
The Belfast Fire Department arrived about 10 minutes later and made sure the fire was out. The fire was contained to a corner of the building and used fans to disperse the smoke. There was minor fire and smoke damage, Fire Chief James Richards said.