March 25, 2013

Fire destroys Mount Vernon home, business Sunday morning

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer

MOUNT VERNON — An early morning fire Sunday destroyed a two-story home and business on Bean Road.

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Investigator Ken MacMaster of the State Fire Marshal's Office examines machines in the cabinet shop of the Whitehouse residence in Mount Vernon Sunday. The building burned early Sunday morning.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Fire engulfs the home of Eric Whitehouse on Bean Road in Mount Vernon early Sunday morning.

Contributed photo by Jon Ljunggren

Additional Photos Below

One of the homeowners and his dog managed to escape the blaze unharmed and no one was hurt, according to Tony Dunn, deputy fire chief.

He said the homeowner, Eric Whitehouse, reported the fire at 591 Bean Road about 3:30 a.m. after the sound of the smoke alarms woke him up.

"We have a second means of egress out of our master bedroom that we just put on last year," Whitehouse said later Sunday morning from the property. "The dog and I got out that way and called 911."

Whitehouse's wife, Colleen, had been in Portland at a friend's home overnight.

Dunn said the blaze apparently started in the building's first-floor cabinet shop. Whitehouse runs Whitehouse Woodworking at that same address.

"When we got there, there was fire coming from the windows on both first and second floors, and part of the roof was collapsed," Dunn said, adding that the water source that firefighters were using was 1,800 feet from the house.

A witness at the scene said the blaze was under control within about 45 minutes.

The building was a complete loss and a work trailer used to deliver cabinets was burned, Dunn said, but firefighters were able to save Whitehouse's pickup from the blaze.

About 50 firefighters from Mount Vernon and departments in six surrounding communities —Vienna, Readfield, Fayette, Wayne, Manchester, and Belgrade — battled the blaze for several hours, and Mount Vernon Fire Chief Dana Dunn returned there about 10 a.m. Sunday to meet with an investigator from the State Fire Marshal's Office to check for hot spots.

Tony Dunn said it appeared that the fire started somewhere in the cabinet shop. He said the investigation was routine.

Whitehouse said the home and the business were insured. He said the building was about seven years old and that the fire destroyed a number of cabinets and other items that were nearly finished.

The couple plans to stay temporarily at a relative's home.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Additional Photos

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Firefighters battle the flames that destroyed Eric Whitehouse's Bean Road, Mount Vernon home early Sunday morning.

Contributed photo by Jon Ljunggren

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Mount Vernon Fire Chief Dana Dunn, left, and Belgrade Deputy Fire Chief Bill Pulsifer discuss tactics while fighting a fire on Bean Road in Mount Vernon on Sunday.

Contributed photo by Jon Ljunggren


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