GOULDSBORO, Maine — A fire early Tuesday morning at a home off Route 1 is being blamed on a faulty wood stove installation, according to a local fire official.
The fire was reported at around 3:30 a.m. at a house on Eagle View Drive, across from Young’s Market on Route 1, Gouldsboro Fire Chief Robert Harmon said Tuesday. He said a couple inside the house was woken up by smoke detectors going off, which allowed them to get out of the house safely before firefighters arrived. He said the couple, whose names he did not know, has no children or pets.
The fire, Harmon said, started in the wall behind a wood stove the couple had been using for heat.
“I believe it was a relatively new installation,” Harmon said about the stove.
The fire crept up the inside of the wall into the ceiling, he said. After firefighters arrived, they had to break through inch-thick pine boards that covered the walls and ceiling, he added.
“It was a tough fire,” the chief said.
It took between 45 minutes and and hour for firefighters to get control of the blaze, he said. There was extensive smoke damage throughout the house, he said, and some structural damage to the roof where firefighters had to cut into it to get at flames in the attic.
Harmon said the couple owns the home but had no insurance. He estimated that the fire caused between $20,000 and $30,000 damage to the house.
Harmon said the Gouldsboro Fire Department is available to conduct requested inspections of wood stoves and pellet stoves to make sure they have been installed properly before they are used. He said the department does not inspect chimneys.
Harmon said the house currently is not inhabitable. He said the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross is putting the couple up at an Ellsworth motel until repairs or other lodging arrangements can be made.
He said more than 40 firefighters responded to the scene to help extinguish the blaze. The towns of Gouldsboro, Winter Harbor, Sorrento and Sullivan all sent firefighters to the scene while Franklin and Hancock each had firefighters on standby in case they were needed. County Ambulance and Gouldsboro Ambulance also assisted at the fire scene, he said.