Fire guts Bangor home; witnesses report seeing lightning strike

Posted July 30, 2013, at 1:12 a.m.
Last modified July 30, 2013, at 5:51 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Two people were displaced and a house was gutted after a fire behind the Main Street Shaw’s late Monday night.

Witnesses reported seeing lightning strike before the fire started, according to neighbor Randy Bessette. The residents, who were living in a camper behind the house at the corner of Patten and Hellier streets while they completed renovations inside, were out for a walk when the fire started just before 11 p.m., he said.

When Bessette arrived at the fire, “there were flames at least 15, 20 feet high coming out of the front of the house, and the side of the house almost hitting the other building next door,” he said.

The fire was contained quickly, but the house appeared to be gutted.

“There was so much fire it got into the walls and ceilings and between the floors,” said Assistant Chief Anthony Riitano.

Firefighters will investigate the cause of the fire; Riitano said it was unknown whether lightning was actually the cause, although a lightning storm was rolling through the area at the time.

The residents were uninjured but lost their belongings, according to Bessette. A firefighter rolled his ankle stepping off a truck and was transported to a Bangor hospital, but it was just twisted, according to Riitano.

The American Red Cross provided housing for the residents.