Investigators say the fire that destroyed a two-story house at 133 Central St. in Westbrook Sunday was caused when an electrical cord powering a space heater failed, creating a short circuit.

The fire broke out at 8:19 p.m. and firefighters arrived to find heavy flames and the home’s two occupants outside, said Capt. Charles Jarrett, fire inspector. Firefighters started an interior attack but felt that the floor was threatening to cave in, so they retreated and directed water on the building from outside, he said.

Gorham and Windham firefighters assisted in bringing the fire under control, he said.

One firefighter received a minor injury and was treated and released from a local hospital, he said.

The building is valued at $78,700 and is a total loss, he said. The owner, Wallace Carey, was in the living room where the fire started and heard a popping sound. When he turned, he saw smoke, Jarrett said.

Just before noon today, Jarrett concluded the fire was caused by the cord.

The residents’ dog, a chihuahua, is still missing, he said.


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