Efforts to stifle Northport cottage fire complicated by ice storm

Posted Dec. 24, 2013, at 2:36 p.m.

NORTHPORT, Maine — The lingering effects of the ice storm challenged firefighters from three communities who battled a blaze at a Temple Heights home very early Tuesday morning.

One of the residents of the large Shore Road cottage tried to put the fire out himself after discovering it at 2:45 a.m. but was overcome by smoke, according to Chief Mike Alley of the Northport Volunteer Fire Department. The man had to be taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast to be checked out, and ultimately was determined to be OK, Alley said.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found that the cottage was fully engulfed and the flames already had started to spread to two neighboring homes.

Cottage residents who escaped the fire told officials they believe it started in the wood stove or the chimney.

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“We had to work,” Alley said, adding that the home couldn’t be saved. “We were able to save the adjacent homes.”

Downed trees, icy roads and a power outage in the neighborhood made getting to the scene with big trucks more difficult for the firefighters, he said. Altogether, about 25 firefighters from Northport, Lincolnville and Belfast came out to fight the fire. They were at the scene from about 3 to 8 a.m., Alley said.

It made for another long night for area first responders.

“Everybody’s been running steady,” Alley said, adding that fire and emergency calls have kept him hopping. “Sleep is overrated.”

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