The fire that caused a propane tank to explode and left a Hermon house a total loss was arson, according to Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The explosion that happened at around 6:16 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2021, began with heavy flames in the backside of the home, according to Hermon Fire Capt. Chandler Corriveau. Early responders could already hear the sound of multiple propane tanks venting when they arrived on scene.

A tank about 400 feet behind the residence proceeded to explode, resulting in a significant blaze that caused the lightweight building to partially collapse, Corriveau said.

There were no occupants in the home at the time of the fire — the owners were not in town, according to Corriveau.

The structure was badly damaged during the fire, and will need to be torn down.

No suspects have been identified, according to Moss. Anyone who has information about the circumstances of the fire can contact the Maine fire marshal’s arson tip line at 1-888-870-6162.

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley and staying active in the Maine outdoors.