A barn in Hallowell was destroyed Sunday night after an accident involving a wood-burning stove that was being used to make maple syrup.

The 30-foot-by-30-foot barn was about 100 feet from a home, and firefighters responded to the property after its owner reported the fire at 8:53 p.m., said Hallowell Fire Chief James Owens. The property is at 85 Winthrop St., just north of the entrance to Hall-Dale Elementary School.

“I arrived at the scene first, myself and the Hallowell Police Department, and it was completely involved and collapsing,” Owens said of the barn.

The property owner, Acton Blanche, told firefighters he was using a wood stove to boil sap in the barn and had left the stove unattended to eat dinner in his home. That’s when he looked out the window and saw a fire had started.

There were no people, animals or other equipment in the barn, and there was no risk of the fire spreading to any other buildings, Owens said. The building was a total loss, but Owens said Blanche did not know if it was insured.

Owens did not know how exactly the fire spread from the stove into the barn, but he said the circumstances were not suspicious, so he didn’t call for an investigation into the cause.

No one was injured. It took about 90 minutes to knock down the fire. Firefighters from Hallowell, Farmingdale, Manchester, Augusta and Pittston battled the blaze. They drew water from a hydrant near the entrance of Hall-Dale Elementary School.

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

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