Cause of Rockland house fire narrowed

By Stephen Betts | Jul 09, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Area firefighters responded in the early morning of July 5 to a fire at 120 North Main St. in Rockland.

Rockland — The cause of a July 5 fire that heavily damaged a house and killed a dog has been narrowed, but the official cause is undetermined.

Rockland Fire Chief Christopher Whytock said the cause is believed to be either  smoking materials or electrical. An official cause is not possible, because of the extent of damage to the rear room where the blaze started.

He said the house at 120 North Main St.had significant electrical issues.

The house, owned by Peter Hart of Rockland, was insured. The city has the house assessed at $91,600.

The two occupants of the house, including the owner, were able to get out safely.

One person banged on neighbors' doors in an effort to get the fire called in. The other person waited at the back door, hoping for the dog to come outside. The fire chief estimated last week there was a seven- to eight-minute delay in the fire's being reported from when they left the house.

"The fire had a pretty big head start," the chief said last week.

And then firefighters faced the challenge of a lot of personal belongings blocking doors and windows, the chief said. In addition, flames were near a propane tank and a live wire from a utility pole that had broken from the house was dangling.

The Maine Fire Marshal's Office assisted in the investigation.

Thomaston, Rockport and South Thomaston crews and a Northeast Mobile Health Services ambulance were at the scene, along with Rockland crews. Warren manned the Rockland and Thomaston stations.

Central Maine Power arrived to shut off electricity.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Deborah Clarisse Morrison | Jul 10, 2018 08:14

"We feel the cause appears to be a fuel, oxygen and an ignition source coming together."

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