Investigators seek cause of Falmouth house fire
FALMOUTH — A fire that damaged portions of a home at 1 Victoria Lane late Sunday is being investigated by the state fire marshall's office and local officials.
Fire Department Chief Howard Rice Jr. on Monday said it was "too early to tell" what caused the fire that spread to all three floors of the home. He said no one was hurt and the home was unoccupied at the time.
Rice said the call came in at 10:11 p.m. Sunday, and that the fire had likely been burning for "a couple of hours" when crews arrived. He said the fire had spread to all three floors and "blown out the back."
"There was extensive damage, the fire burned through," Rice said.
Rice said the home sustained significant damage, particularly on the left side. He said the fire burnt through the walls and floor.
Sean Crothers, who owns the home but does not live there, on on Monday said he had been at the home earlier in the evening. When he returned later he said the fire had already started. He said he did not know its cause, and declined to answer other questions.
Exclusive of nearly two acres of land, the home is valued at $331,800, according to town tax records.
Rice said the building was cleared by about 2 a.m. Monday, and the bulk of the fire had been knocked down within half an hour after firefighters arrived.
He said the blaze is being investigated by the Falmouth Police Department and by state fire marshals, who arrived at the scene around 9:30 Monday morning.
"It's common to call the fire marshals in with a fire of this magnitude," Rice said.
He said all of Falmouth's trucks responded, as well as trucks from Portland and Cumberland. Additionally, tankers from North Yarmouth, Gray, New Gloucester and Windham responded.
There is no fire hydrant within a mile of the home, Rice said, but there is a tank across the street that holds 5,000 gallons of water. He said the tank bought time until the tankers arrived.
"We didn't use a lot of water, but we had them standing by," Rice said.
He said crews couldn't get up to the second floor through the house because of damage in the stairwell, so they had to come at the fire from the roof down.
"It was a very stubborn fire," Rice said. "It had to have been going for a little while before."