Carmel fire burns apartment house, closes Route 69 heading into town

Posted Sept. 21, 2010, at 5:46 p.m.

CARMEL, Maine — An apartment house located just south of the village center on Route 69 caught fire Tuesday afternoon, displacing three families and causing the roadway to be closed to traffic, Fire Chief Mike Azevedo said from the scene.

Fire was noticed in the old farmhouse, which had been converted into three apartments, by one of the residents at around 3 p.m.

Karen Sasso, who lives in the front apartment with her husband, son and small dog, said she “kept hearing the fire alarm go off so I went out in the hallway and saw smoke and called 911.”

Firefighters from Etna, Levant, Hermon and Newburgh assisted those from town in battling the blaze, which closed Route 69 until around 5 p.m. to enable firefighters to access the building. The converted farmhouse is located about five doors down from the center of town.

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“It appears we had a fire start in a bedroom on the first floor of the building,” Azevedo said. “The middle apartment is pretty much burned out.”

Local firefighters had just left a small garbage receptacle fire at Deal Recycling on the Main Road and responded very quickly to the second fire, he said.

“It could have been a lot worse” had firefighters not been readily available, the fire chief said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate both fires, he said, and the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting those displaced by the farmhouse fire.

No injuries were reported in the Route 69 blaze, but “one dog is still missing and one cat didn’t make it,” Azevedo said.

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