Traffic had to be detoured off Union Street not far from the Knox County Courthouse on Tuesday, as firefighters extinguished a blaze in a duplex.

The fire started in the building at 106 Union St. as owner John Alexander was using a heat gun to strip paint from the eaves of the building.

Alexander said he had some water with him and a fire extinguisher, but they were not enough to put out the flames when a spark ignited in the eaves above the door of the building.

Rockland Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded quickly at about 11 a.m., along with Rockland police. Three firetrucks were on the scene, along with a cruiser and an ambulance.

Assistant Chief Adam Miceli and Chief Charles Jordan said the old style of construction actually helped minimize the damage. They said that in a newer home, the fire would have quickly spread into the attic and roof.