PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A Monday fire of as-yet-undetermined origin resulted in the destruction of one apartment, heavy damage to another, and the death of an unidentified victim.
“We had the fire knocked down in 20 minutes, but it was fully engulfed when we arrived,” said Presque Isle Deputy Fire Chief Richard Wark.
The 911 call reporting a fire at the Mountain View Apartments building at 53 Dupont St. came in at 2:32 p.m., and fire and rescue units were on the scene in four minutes.
“The fire was starting to extend up into the apartment above,” Wark said. “We were told someone was still believed to be inside, so we went in and found the victim.”
Wark said the victim’s identity and gender were unknown as of Monday night.
The fire left one apartment a total loss; another one moderately to heavily damaged from fire, smoke and water; and two adjoining ones with lesser damage, primarily from smoke but also from water.
“Those four are uninhabitable for the time being, but two are much less damaged,” said Wark, one of 22 firefighters who fought the blaze.
Two engines and one ladder truck went to the scene of the fire. Firefighters conducted salvage work after putting the fire out and investigators went through the building until 6:30 p.m., according to Wark, who said the owner of the apartment building is Phil Halvorson.