Cause of Brunswick house fire undetermined

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BRUNSWICK — An investigation could not determine the cause of a Thursday, April 19, fire on Mere Point that destroyed a home worth close to a million dollars.

A resident of Freeport called emergency officials to report that flames were visible from across Maquoit Bay at 7:14 that evening. Three firefighters dispatched from the Brunswick Fire Department immediately called for backup, Fire Chief Ken Brilliant said.

Owners Robert and Margaret Healing were not at home when the fire began in their garage at 41 West Marginal Road. They arrived later and watched as firefighters tried to contain the flames.

No one was injured in the incident, but a garage next door to the home caught fire. Several of the windows facing the blaze were broken or warped by the heat.

Firefighters battled the blaze until about 1 a.m. Friday, April 20. The site was checked periodically throughout the night to ensure that it didn’t reignite.

The fact that the home was on a small dead-end road made getting water to the fire a challenge, firefighters said. Only one truck could access the property; all other equipment and water had to be conveyed over 1,000 feet of dirt road.

“With limited resources, we concentrated on prevention,” Brilliant said. “We concentrated on saving the neighbor’s house, and the camp on the other side.”

Saltwater could not be drawn from the ocean, he said, because it corrodes firefighting equipment.

Chris Stanford, a senior fire investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said the extent of the damage made it impossible to determine the cause of the fire.

The house was almost entirely destroyed, with only a small portion of one corner and two stone fireplaces remaining amid the burnt debris.

“We need surfaces to look at, walls and floors,” Stanford sand. “We’re unable to rule on a cause.”

He confirmed that the fire began in the garage.

Lauren Catlett, a neighbor and friend of the Healings, said that they had renovated the home just a few years ago, and that it was the ancestral home of Margaret Healing.

Brilliant said the Healing’s were “staying with friends and trying to sort out where they’re going to make their next step.”

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or matthh@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hh_matt.

Neighbor Lauren Catlett surveys the damage that was done to the home of her friends, Robert and Margaret Healing, at 41 West Marginal Road, Brunswick.

Sidebar Elements


Firefighters brave the heat and flames to battle a blaze that destroyed a home at 41 West Marginal Road in Brunswick shortly after 7 p.m. April 19. A resident of Flying Point in Freeport saw the flames near the end of Mere Point peninsula and alerted the Brunswick Fire Department.

Nothing was salvaged in the fire.

Firefighters battle the blaze at 41 West Marginal Road in Brunswick on Thursday, April 19.

There’s little left of the home at 41 West Marginal Road in Brunswick as firefighters fight the flames on Thursday, April 19.

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