AUGUSTA — Firefighters on Monday quickly extinguished an early morning fire at Gray Birch Apartments.

The fire started in George and Shirley Derosier’s bathroom. They live on the first floor in apartment 107 at 12 Gray Birch Dr.

Shirley Derosier said her husband called the Fire Department when he heard their apartment’s smoke detector beeping and smelled smoke.

“I was coming home from rehab and saw all these firetrucks,” Derosier said Monday while waiting with other residents outside the building under the watchful eye of Gardiner rescue workers. “I didn’t know what was happening. Nothing like coming home to that.”

Augusta Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Guimond said the call came in at 9:13 a.m. There were no injuries.

He said the fire caused about $5,000 worth of damage to the unit and was ruled accidental.

“It’s hard to say what happen,” Guimond said. “They were having plumbing problems. On Saturday water was leaking into the light fixtures, and she stated she put a towel over the light of the medicine cabinet.”

He said it seems the towel caught fire an fell into a trash can next to the sink.

Derosier said water also had been dripping down through the ceiling fan.

Guimond said the Derosiers had to find temporary housing until the apartment, which sustained smoke and water damage, could be fixed.

“The Red Cross will put them up at least a couple of days until they hopefully can make the apartment livable for them or they find someplace else to live (until repairs are made).”

He said Augusta, Gardiner and Togus fire and rescue units were at the scene. The Chelsea and Hallowell fire departments covered the main Augusta fire station.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]


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