Fire departments from four towns battle Camden house fire

By Susan Mustapich | Jul 08, 2019
Courtesy of: Camden Fire Department The cause of a Camden house fire July 6 is believed to be lightning, according to the fire chief.

CAMDEN — Teams of local firefighters from four towns battled a fire in a house off of Route 1 the evening of Saturday, July 6.

The fire, called in at 6:11 p.m. is believed to have been caused by lightning, according to Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley. It took place within an enclosed area behind closets on the second floor of a 3,000-square-foot, two-story home at 555 Belfast Road, Farley said. The fire was initially difficult to locate because it was in a void area, with no accessible entrance. The firefighters could not get to the fire through the gable vents, and had to break through sheetrock on a second-story wall and first-floor ceiling in order to get at it, he said.

Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville and Hope fire departments responded with about 40 firefighters. The home is located roughly a quarter-mile from Route 1, down a long driveway. A Camden Fire Department truck backed in with a water supply and set up a portable water-storage pool. Hope Fire Department assisted with running hoses and shuttling water from the closest fire hydrant, located near Laite Construction, in the area of 200 Belfast Road.

A Rockport firefighter was struck by falling sheetrock. He was taken by ambulance to Pen Bay Medical Center, Farley said, received X-rays and was later released from the hospital.

The fire was reported by Ward Graffam, who was home during the early evening thunder and lightning storm and heard a large bang, then noticed that the electricity was knocked out to the television and garage door, according to Farley. Graffam smelled electrical wires burning, but did not find anything after checking through the house. Because of the continued burning smell, Graffam checked the exterior, noticing smoke coming from the gable vents, and called 911.

Firefighters were at the scene for three hours, Farley said. Northport and Searsmont fire departments covered the town of Lincolnville during that time, and two firefighters from Union covered the Camden Fire Station. Fire Chiefs Chris Wytock of Rockland and Paul Smeltzer of Waldoboro offered assistance if needed.

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