EMBDEN — A fire that heavily damaged a home and destroyed the attached garage Sunday began where a kerosene furnace and a propane heater were kept, but the damage was too great to determine the cause, a fire chief said Monday.
The fire started in a back corner of the garage in a small daylight basement of the home on Dunbar Hill Road, Anson Fire Chief Jeremy Manzer, who was the scene commander.
Two vehicles that had been parked in and next to the garage were destroyed. Another garage that was not attached to the house was damaged. The Anson Fire Department is contracted to provide fire protection to the town of Embden.
Homeowner Clayton Williams and his wife escaped without injury. The couple saved their two dogs, but a cat was lost in the blaze, first reported at 3 p.m. Sunday, Manzer said. Williams said Sunday night that he suspected escaping propane from a 250-gallon tank likely fueled the flames. The fire also was fanned from high wind coming off a nearby lake, Manzer said.
Manzer said the interior of the house has smoke and water damage and it will be up to the couple’s insurance carrier to determine if it is considered a total loss. Some of the couple’s personal belongings were saved from the fire, he said.
The back of the building was excavated late Sunday to prevent hot spots from causing more damage. Manzer said 40 firefighters from several local towns battled the blaze for about four hours before bringing it under control.
The Williams couple stayed at a Skowhegan motel Sunday night courtesy of American Red Cross. No one was at the home Monday morning to comment.
Manzer said the damage was too extensive to call the Office of State Fire Marshal to investigate.
This story will be updated.