WINSLOW — Amid scorching hot temperatures, Priscilla Ouellette grabbed her small dog and a phone and ran outside Friday afternoon as a fire that started on her porch quickly consumed her mobile home.

It was too late by the time firefighters began dousing the flames: The home at Pleasant Ridge Mobile Home Park off Benton Avenue was reduced to a heap of smoldering debris.

Neither firefighters nor Ouellette immediately knew what could have sparked the fire. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was going to investigate because the cause couldn’t be determined.

Ouellette, 64, said she had just started watching television after taking a nap when she smelled smoke coming through the air-conditioner. At first she thought that maybe someone was barbecuing.

But then she heard crackling.

“I thought, ‘What the hell?’ I opened the door and the end of the porch was on fire,” Ouellette said.

She grabbed her dog, Mackey, escaped without injury and called 911 at 2:58 p.m.

When firefighters arrived at Ouellette’s mobile home, lot No. 16 at the back of the park’s loop, about three-quarters of the home was consumed by flames and her 2008 Dodge Adventure was also ablaze, according to Winslow Fire Chief Dave LaFountain.

More than 30 firefighters arrived from Fairfield, Waterville and Winslow, and they also noticed that an adjacent mobile home, lot No. 17, had caught fire.

“We quickly focused on number 17 to contain it,” LaFountain said. “But this trailer,” he said, motioning toward Ouellette’s, “was fully involved in five minutes.”

Ouellette and her dog took cover under a neighbor’s carport while firefighters attacked the flames. Ouellette said she had lived there for the last year and a half and said her son, Bert Ouellette, had been visiting earlier in the day.

LaFountain asked Ouellette if she had any idea how the fire had started, and all she could think is that her son had been smoking on the porch earlier in the morning, but he had since left. Her son’s motorcycle was parked outside the home as well and appeared to have been slightly scorched.

The exterior siding of the next-door home was burned off, while Ouellette’s home appeared to be destroyed. Ouellette said she has insurance.

A neighbor, Jim Bell, said he heard three explosions — it sounded like exploding gas tanks, he said — and he ran out and began spraying his hose at the grass and the surrounding area.

Bell has his own theory about what might have started the fire.

“Spontaneous combustion,” Bell said. “It’s hot. I think it was the heat.”

LaFountain said firefighters also heard the explosions, but he doesn’t think they were gas tanks, but rather gun ammunition cartridges inside the home. The cause of the fire, though unknown, appeared to be accidental, LaFountain said.

As to whether the heat could have been a factor, LaFountain said he has heard weird things before in which heat was believed to be magnified through glass prisms. Temperatures were in the 90s Friday.

“Everybody’s running air conditioners, drawing a lot of power this time of year,” LaFountain said. “This is when things get dangerous. They burn so quick.”

Scott Monroe — 861-9239

[email protected]

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