DRESDEN — Eleven people escaped a fire early Sunday that heavily damaged a transitional home in the Lincoln County town of Dresden.

The fire at the Freedom Center, a drug and mental health recovery center, was reported about 3:30 a.m., according to Dresden Fire Chief Steve Lilly.

Lilly was one of the first firefighters on the scene at 633 Gardiner Road.

“The initial call said there was fire at the back of the building with flames showing at the roof,” he said Sunday. “We had heavy black smoke pushing out of the eaves at the front of the building, so at that point I knew there was fire in the attic.”

Lilly had crews search the building, but no people were found in the house. At first, officials thought there were 13 people inside when the fire broke out, but after 45 minutes it was determined that two residents were not there at the time. No injuries were reported.

The center’s residents have been placed in temporary lodging by the American Red Cross, Lilly said.

Lilly said between 50 and 70 responders from Dresden, Wiscasset, Richmond, Boothbay, Alna, Jefferson, Woolwich, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Gardiner, Pittston and Edgecomb helped get the blaze under control in about two hours.

“We had a small water problem at the beginning, because we didn’t have enough tank trucks from our mutual aid partners. That put a little bit of delay on suppression of the fire,” Lilly said.

The fire was contained to the attic and roof, Lilly said. The second floor sustained considerable water damage and parts of the roof caved in on it. The first floor had water and smoke damage.

“I would say due to the amount of water damage and the roof burning like it did, I believe it will have to be torn down,” he said.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office will continue to investigate the cause of the fire. Lilly said there was no obvious cause.

Freedom Center executive director Jan Burns lived at the residence, but was away for the weekend. Her dog, Snickers, was in the house at the time and did not survive.

Lilly said once the fire was under control, crews tried to cover as much of the residents’ belongings as possible with tarp. The residents who remained at the scene told firefighters where items such as keys, medications and wallets could be found.

“We got a lot of the personal belongings out, and the people were able to get their medication back,” Lilly said.

The building is one of Dresden’s biggest, the chief said. The Freedom Center was granted a business permit in July 2015 to operate as a nonprofit recovery center.

The facility provides private bedrooms and bathrooms to people in recovery. These types of facilities are in demand across the state and are often filled to capacity, so it is unclear where the Freedom Center’s residents will ultimately end up.