THOMASTON — The cause of an early morning house fire that began after one Brooklyn Heights Road resident left for work and before another occupant awakened will remain unknown, yet determined accidental, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The Saturday, Aug. 17, early morning fire destroyed the 1.5 story home at 57 Brooklyn Heights Road despite the efforts of an occupant and fire crews from neighboring towns.
On Monday, Aug. 19, an investigator from the Fire Marshal’s Office traced the fire’s origin to an area near a couch in the living room, though the exact location and cause remain undetermined.
THOMASTON — Thomaston Fire Department is searching for the cause of a fire that destroyed a house on the south side of Thomaston, Saturday morning.
At approximately 5:54 a.m., August 17, the volunteer fire department and its mutual aid were called to 57 Brooklyn Heights Road for a confirmed structure fire.
Arriving on scene from his own home within 5 minutes of the call, Asst. Fire Chief Jamie Leo encountered a 1.5 story A-frame home fully engulfed in flames. The area with the heaviest fire could not be immediately determined since flames were shooting from all sides, including through the roof, Leo said.
According to Leo, two occupants were in the building overnight Friday into Saturday. Early Saturday morning, one occupant got up and went to work without noticing anything amiss in the house. After he left, the other occupant awoke to the smell of smoke. She found fire in the living room and attempted to extinguish it on her own. The smoke became overwhelming, and the fire quickly grew out of control. At that point, she left and called 911.
“It’s obviously always never a good thing to do it like that because you are just getting hurt,” said Leo. “You’re delaying the fire department from getting there, especially when we’re not a staffed station. Everybody has got to come from home. It just ends up being a time delay.
“Always just get out and stay out, and you know you’re not going to get hurt.” he said.
No smoke detectors alarmed, and the owner was unsure if any smoke detectors were in the house.
Thomaston FD incorporated a half-mile tanker shuttle operation since the City water main does not extend far enough, and the distance was too far to run a hose.
Fire crews were unable to save the structure, though they left as much structure in tact as safely possible, in order to preserve any evidence that would help determine the cause.
“We don’t like to knock the whole structure down just because that takes away all of the evidence itself, and we don’t really need to,” he said.
Some beams were tested for integrity and others were moved that were either in the way or were considered a safety risk.
According to Leo, there’s “no reason to believe that [the fire] was anything more than accidental right now.”
Crew from Thomaston, Rockland, South Thomaston, Warren, and Cushing fire departments assisted in battling the flames, while Thomaston and Rockland EMS stayed on scene just in case, and Waldoboro covered the Thomaston Fire Station.
No injuries were reported.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office will come to Thomaston next week.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org