A house at 119 Burnell Drive in Yarmouth caught fire late Friday about three hours after a family used a charcoal grill on their wooden porch, according to Yarmouth Fire Rescue.

The occupants, a mother and daughter, escaped from the home and were uninjured, Fire Chief Michael Robitaille said. The house is likely a total loss, he said, estimating the loss at about $350,000.

Robitaille said Yarmouth firefighters received several calls about the fire late Friday, the first just before midnight. Firefighters were on the scene in six minutes and reported that the house was already well-involved in fire. Yarmouth requested assistance from Cumberland and Freeport departments.

A total of 25 firefighters, none of whom was injured, battled the fire, which spread from the back porch into the first two floors of the home. The fire was under control in an hour, and firefighters were on the scene for two-and-a-half hours, Robitaille said.

The occupants were sleeping at the time the fire started, Robitaille said. The home’s smoke detectors did not initially go off because the fire started outdoors, he said. The residents told firefighters that they heard a noise that woke them, then they saw the fire and escaped.

Robitaille said the residents had been grilling Friday night with charcoal briquettes on a wooden deck, and the fire’s origin appeared to be in the same area. He said it’s important that people use caution when grilling out this Memorial Day weekend.

“I think the safety message that can be learned out of this is not to have grills on a deck or a porch,” Robitaille said. “They’re not meant to be there, and they’re too close to combustibles.”

He said the wind “may have been a factor” in starting the Burnell Drive fire, re-igniting coals that appeared to be out.

“You may think the coals are out,” Robitaille said, “but they’re really not because sometimes they’re burning inside.”

 

 

 

 

 

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