February 15, 2020
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Investigators say no connection between 2 Fort Fairfield fires

David Marino Jr. | Star-Herald
David Marino Jr. | Star-Herald
Remains of a house fire in Fort Fairfield that left one woman dead Tuesday night, a day after the incident on Wednesday morning.

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Investigators said Wednesday afternoon there is no indication that the two fatal fires in Fort Fairfield this week are connected.

The victim from Tuesday night’s fire has been identified as Hope Phillips, 39, although a positive identification will come from the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Firefighters recovered the woman’s body “early this morning,” said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety on Wednesday.

The fire, reported at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, engulfed a two-story home at 117 Sam Everett Road occupied by Phillips and her longtime boyfriend, Jeffrey Chasse. The house burned to the ground, and the couple’s two dogs also died in the fire.

David Marino Jr. | Star-Herald
David Marino Jr. | Star-Herald
Workers from earthwork contractor McGillan perform work on the remains of a house fire in Fort Fairfield on Wednesday morning.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office used an excavator to assist them during their examination of the house’s rubble Wednesday.

McCausland said firefighters found the woman’s body in the basement of the home this morning, and that a large amount of the house had collapsed into the basement.

According to authorities, Chasse was not home when the fire broke out, and arrived at his residence after firefighters began fighting the blaze.

The cause of the fire had not been determined by late Wednesday afternoon.

This was the second time in two days that a woman died as a result of a fire at a residence in Fort Fairfield, authorities said Wednesday.

The Sam Everett Road fire comes just one day after 90-year-old Dawn Findlen was killed in a fire in her old farmhouse on Densmore Road, about seven miles from Sam Everett Road. Her house was flattened by fire as well, and investigators recovered her body with help from an excavator to move debris.

 


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