Munjoy Hill fire displaces 13 in Portland

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PORTLAND — A faulty electric cooking stove was determined to be the cause of a  Munjoy Hill fire that displaced 13 people at 6 Cumberland Ave. on Monday.

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin announced the cause of the fire in a press release Tuesday, adding there were no injuries to residents or firefighters.

The accidental fire, which started on the first floor, was reported about 8 p.m. in a building between Merrill and Lafayette streets.

The three-story apartment building at 6 Cumberland Ave. was heavily damaged throughout, and the fire also scorched and melted siding at 10 Cumberland Ave., and 10 and 14 Merrill St.

Justin Burkhardt, a spokesman with the American Red Cross in Maine, said Monday the agency was assisting residents of 6 Cumberland Ave. with temporary living arrangements. Grondin said more than 30 people in four buildings were helped in some fashion.

Carlos Becerra, who lives at 12 Cumberland Ave., said he came outside around 8 p.m. and first just saw a small fire.

“I heard people yelling and crying,” he said.

Grondin said working smoke detectors at 6 Cumberland Ave. alerted the residents and allowed all to escape the building. Investigators returned to the scene today to assess conditions in the adjacent buildings and determine when residents can return.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Workers board up windows at 6 Cumberlnad Ave. in Portland on Jan. 3 after a fire Jan. 2 displaced 13 residents. No one was hurt, and the cause was accidental.The Jan. 2 fire at 6 Cumberland Ave. also damaged adjoining buildings on the densely packed Munjoy Hill block.

The Jan. 2 fire at 6 Cumberland Ave. scorched the side of the building at 10 Cumberland Ave. and also melted siding. More than 30 residents from four buildings were affected by the blaze, but none were injured.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.