Christmas Day fire damages North Yarmouth home

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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.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Flames engulf half of the front of a home at 72 Prince Well Road in North Yarmouth shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday, Christmas Day.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.