CAMDEN — A fire that significantly damaged a waterfront home in Camden, and sent one Rockport firefighter to the hospital to be evaluated, has been attributed to a lightning strike.
According to Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley, the fire originated in an upstairs bedroom of a home at 555 Belfast Road (Route 1) near the Lincolnville town line.
The home is near the ocean, down a driveway from Route 1, about one-third of a mile in length. Firefighters from Camden, Hope, Lincolnville, Rockport and Union arrived quickly to find considerable smoke venting from the roof and eaves of the house.
The call came just after 6 p.m., July 6, with homeowner Ward Graffam reporting smoke spreading throughout his house.
A thunderstorm had just passed through the region, and he heard a tremendous bang inside the house. With the smell of smoke, he evacuated quickly with his dogs. His wife, Linda, who had just returned from downtown Camden, put the dogs in their car, which was parked safely away from the house, as the rain continued to pour down.
Donning breathing apparatus, the firefighters entered the smoke-filled house in teams. On the second floor, part of a ceiling fell on one Rockport firefighter, who was transported to Pen Bay Medical Center with neck pain. He was subsequently released with no injuries, reported Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley.
The firefighters attacked the fire from different sides of the house, as well as from inside. Meanwhile, Hope firefighters ran hoses down the long driveway, set up a water tank on Route 1, and refilled the water supply from a hydrant further down the road.
Northport Fire Department manned Lincolnville’s station while Lincolnville firefighters responded to the fire, and Chief Farley reported that both Rockland and Waldoboro fire chiefs offered to send firefighters from their departments, if needed.
North East Mobile Health Services responded with an ambulance crew, and Camden Police assisted with traffic control on Route 1.
Firefighters cleared the scene shortly after 9 p.m., and Route 1 reopened.
This article will be updated as details become available.