LEWISTON, Maine — A fast-moving grease fire destroyed the first floor at 101 Pine St. early Saturday afternoon, leaving at least one family of four homeless.
Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette said police received a call for help at about 1:15 p.m. A woman in the apartment had been heating oil to cook dough for lunch when a grease fire erupted. She tried unsuccessfully to put it out before fire crawled up the walls.
The first floor was a total loss, he said.
At 2:20 p.m. Ouellette was still waiting to go inside to inspect the rest of the building, which is owned by Joe Dunn.
Two parents, a daughter and a granddaughter lived in the first-floor unit. Two cats were saved in the fire but a dog was missing.
There were no reports of injuries.
It was unknown how many other units the building had. The 1850 Victorian at the corner of Pine and Pierce streets downtown had been a funeral home until 2009.
Heating oil quickly will almost always result in a flare, Ouellette said. “Start cooking on the lowest setting you can — start slow and work your way up high.”