NORTH YARMOUTH — A Christmas Day fire did significant damage to a home at 72 Prince Well Road, and claimed the life of a pet cat.
Neither the homeowner, who Fire Chief Clark Baston identified Tuesday as Paula Roberge, nor any other people were home at the time.
A neighbor reported the fire in at 4:01 p.m. Sunday, and firefighters were at the scene until about 9:30 or 10 p.m., Baston said.
Baston said the fire started in the basement of the split-level ranch, and that the state fire marshal’s office would be investigating the cause.
“We’re not really sure what started it,” he said. “It started in the furnace area, but the furnace was also shut off, so (I) don’t believe it was that.”
A heating oil storage tank burst in the fire, but the Maine Department of Environmental Protection pumped the tank out and checked for leaks, Baston said.
Baston said the house was probably a total loss, but some possessions were salvageable. He said “the back bedrooms didn’t receive any fire damage, and very little smoke.”
The American Red Cross and a local church offered Roberge aid, but Baston said she has family in the area and declined assistance.
Firefighters responded from North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Pownal, Yarmouth, Gray and Freeport.