VASSALBORO — A Main Street home was destroyed by fire when a blaze sparked late Wednesday night consumed it, keeping area firefighters at the scene throughout the early morning hours.
According to Vassalboro firefighter Craig Smiley, who was one of the first to arrive at the fire, the call came in around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday. Both occupants of the house were able to get out safely, he said, but two cats were still missing as of Thursday.
“It was fully involved when we got here,” he said. “By the time we got here, the flames were shooting out everywhere.”
The state fire marshal’s office investigated the blaze. By early afternoon Thursday, Fire Marshal Sgt. Ken Grimes said the fire’s cause was determined to be accidental. It started on the porch, where electrical conductors appeared to have ignited the blaze. Grimes said he was not sure of the exact reason the conductors caught fire.
The home, reported to emergency dispatch as being in the area of 1032 Main St., was a blackened shell Thursday morning as people gathered around the charred remains. After 9 a.m. the scene had cleared, outside of a few firefighters and the homeowner, Brenda White, who did not want to comment.
Rick White, who was at the scene and identified himself as the homeowner’s ex-husband, said he was one of the first people to get a call about the fire. He said his daughter from Massachusetts called him.
“I understand it was pretty engulfed in flames,” he said somberly outside the remains of the house.
Firefighters from Vassalboro, Winslow, South China, China Village and Weeks Mills responded to the blaze around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and remained there for the next several hours. Smiley said the last of the flames were extinguished around 6 a.m.
Remarkably, a blue garage behind the building was not burned by the blaze. Vassalboro Fire Lt. Gus Smiley said a breeze was blowing toward the street and away from the garage, which probably helped keep the structure from being damaged.
Aside from a few scorched trees and the burned lawn surrounding the house, the damage appeared to be contained to the home, though power lines were down in the front yard. Gus Smiley said the house was old, which contributed to how quickly it went up in flames. Those at the scene said the wiring in the house was also old, which could have contributed to the fire.
“It was a lot of fire,” he said. “We put a lot of water on it.”
Colin Ellis — 861-9253