BATH, Maine — A Bath home was lucky to be saved Tuesday afternoon after a fire erupted near a faulty chimney, according to Bath Fire Chief Steve Hinds.

No one was hurt and the home at 41 East Milan St. remains livable, though Hinds said the fire easily could have spread to the rest of the structure.

“It was a great stop,” said Hinds. “We saved a lot of damage. With all the void spaces in the walls of these older homes, it could have been a lot worse.”

Hinds said homeowners Carter and Anita Ruff were home when the fire broke out, but that it was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke coming from the building. The Ruffs also reported the fire when they noticed it.

Crews from Bath, West Bath and Brunswick arrived to find fire around the chimney and in the roof. They used a ladder truck to attack the flames at their source, and managed to limit the damage to the roof and the second floor of the home. Hinds said firefighters fashioned a temporary patch to the roof that allows the home to remain livable, but he said there is at least $15,000 in damage.

Hinds attributed the blaze to a worn or faulty metal chimney. He urged homeowners to be diligent about chimney maintenance.

“It’s something you have to pay constant attention to,” he said.

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.