Two firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that destroyed the garage of a home at 387 South St. in Biddeford late Wednesday morning.

Two firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that destroyed the garage of a home at 387 South St. in Biddeford late Wednesday morning.

BIDDEFORD — Biddeford firefighters responded to a fire late Wednesday morning that sent dark smoke billowing into the air, visible from miles away, and destroyed the garage of a home at 387 South St. Nobody was injured in the blaze, and firefighters were able to save the attached house.

“Upon arrival the garage was fully involved, we had extension into the house already, into the breezeway, and it was starting to get into the main part of the house,” said Deputy Fire Chief Scott Gagne, as firefighters continued to spray smoldering embers with a hose.

Several residents reported the fire just before 10:30 a.m., and Gagne said firefighters were able to “aggressively attack” the fire, getting it under control by about 11 a.m. and preventing it from engulfing the main part of the house. Fire and rescue crews from Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Scarborough, Goodwins Mills and Kennebunk assisted Biddeford firefighters, as a stretch of South Street was shut down for just over an hour.

There was one man home when the fire started, said Gagne, and he was able to get out of the house safely, meeting firefighters on the front lawn as they arrived. He required no medical attention, Gagne added.

The main part of the house suffered extensive smoke damage but no structural damage, he said. Gagne said he believes the people who live there will stay with friends or family until the damage can be repaired.

According to city records, the property is owned by Mark and Heather Purvis.

Jim Lowell, who lives about a mile away on South Street, said that during the fire he heard a few pops that sounded like propane tanks exploding. Lowell was one of several residents who gathered across the street to watch firefighters extinguish the blaze.

But the noise, Gagne explained, was caused by tires popping. A minivan that was parked close to the garage also caught fire from the heat, and its front tires popped with enough force to sound like explosions, he said.

Investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the fire, and Gagne said that could take longer than usual because of the extent of the damage.

Although there were no injuries directly related to the fire, officials later confirmed that 74-year-old Roger Duchesne, of South Street, was injured at the scene after being struck by a hose that fell off of a Goodwins Mills fire truck.

Scarborough rescue workers transported Duchesne to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A hospital spokesperson said this morning that his condition is satisfactory.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]


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