A home at 61 Clark St. in Winthrop was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning, but the tenants of the rental property made it out safely.

The tenants said the fire started when they were adjusting the plug in an electric outlet and sparks came out, igniting the materials on a nearby bed, according to Dan Brooks, chief of the Winthrop Fire Department.

“From there, it took off like crazy,” Brooks said. “… By the time we had got there, it had already spread into the attic and another room and was coming out of multiple windows.” Although the walls and roof were still standing, he added, “It pretty much gutted the place.”

The home, which was less than a quarter-mile south of Main Street, was owned by Linda Parker, but Brooks did not know the names of the renters, as they had left by the time he arrived on the scene. He said a woman lived there with her boyfriend and a couple children.

Afterwards, they went to stay in a home in a different part of Winthrop, according to Brooks. They had a dog that safely made it out. They also had a couple cats that were unaccounted for on Tuesday morning, according to Brooks. All their belongings were destroyed, he added.

Firefighters from Winthrop, Monmouth and Augusta went to the scene and knocked the fire down within 45 minutes. By 6:30 a.m., the scene was cleared.

The Maine Office of State Fire Marshal is investigating what caused the fire, but it did not appear to be suspicious, Brooks said.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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