CARMEL, Maine — Fire crews from more than half a dozen Penobscot County communities converged on Carmel Thursday night to battle a fire at a two-family residence on Hampden Road, also known as Route 69.
The fire at 40 Hampden Road, a former farmhouse and barn converted into two apartment units, displaced a total of six people, namely a family of four and a family of two, as well as a pet hamster and a dog, Carmel Fire Chief Mike Azevedo said late Thursday.
None of the occupants were home when the fire broke out shortly before 6 p.m., Azevedo said.
The family of two planned to stay with family, and the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to assist members of the other family, three of whom were heading to a motel and one of whom planned to stay with friends across the street to keep an eye on things, Azevedo said.
Azevedo said he has asked the State Fire Marshal’s Office to visit the fire scene today to help pinpoint the cause of the fire, which he said was not considered suspicious. He estimated damage at more than $75,000. It was not immediately clear whether the building was insured.
Initial reports indicated that flames were beginning to emerge from the roof above one of the apartments when firefighters arrived. Azevedo credited quick response from more than 50 firefighters from several communities for containing the fire to the smaller of the two units.
He said damage to the larger unit, which housed the family of four, was limited to smoke and water damage.
“It was a tremendous stop,” Azevedi said.
Because the fire was reported while a meeting of the Penobscot County Fire Chiefs was occurring in nearby Levant, Azevedo said mobilizing crews was easier than it otherwise would have been.
In addition to firefighters from Carmel and its automatic aid partners, Etna, Stetson and Levant, crews and equipment from Newburgh, Newport, Hermon and Plymouth turned out.
Meanwhile, crews from Corinna and Hampden provided backup coverage for the other towns, he said.