PERRY, Maine — The Maine state fire marshal was on the scene Sunday morning of a fatal house fire on Birch Point Road.

According to Perry Fire Chief Paula Frost, the body of the homeowner, whose name is being withheld pending notification of family members, was discovered outside of the engulfed, two-story home Saturday afternoon.

Cause of death is pending an examination by the state medical examiner, Frost said.

The fire was reported just after 4 p.m. Saturday by the homeowner’s wife who was living in a trailer about 100 feet from the house, Frost said.

The house was engulfed in flames by the time units arrived, she said.

“It was bitterly cold and a lack of a nearby water source made it a difficult fire to fight, and the house was a total loss,” Frost added.

Crews from Perry, Pleasant Point and Pembroke were forced to haul water from a source about five miles from the fire, she said.

“Just driving from the hydrant back to the scene made the water in the lines freeze,” Frost said.

Machinery, hoses and line-couplings also were freezing, and the Pembroke tanker was sent home after it completely froze up.

At one point, about 4-inches of ice covered one of the water pipe couplings.

“It was not only the hoses icing up, but the minute you sprayed water, everything had ice on it,” Frost said.

Firefighters remained on the scene until 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Fire crews were assisted at the scene by members of Down East EMS and the American Red Cross.

Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.