A toaster may have sparked a blaze that badly damaged an Augusta home over the weekend, investigators said Monday.

“We can’t rule out a malfunctioning toaster,” said Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. “It appears to be accidental.”

Meanwhile, the cause couldn’t be determined for a second weekend fire that destroyed a seasonal camp in Jefferson, Grimes said.

That fire was reported just before 1 a.m. Saturday involving a home at 28 Cottage Road.

Fire Chief Walter Morris said at the time that the home on Damariscotta Lake was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The home, which is owned by Jeff and Amy Dominick, of Connecticut, was not occupied when the fire broke out, Morris said. No one was injured.

He said an icy road leading into the camp made the job difficult for firefighters.

“Apparently they had friends stay last weekend, but they left on Wednesday, so no one has been in the house since then,” Morris said. “They do keep it heated year-round, so the heating and electric systems were on.”

The fire could have been burning for several hours before anyone noticed it. That made it unworkable to determine the fire’s case, Grimes said.

The cause “is undetermined due to the extent of damage,” he said. “The building was a complete loss.”

City firefighters were called out several hours later when a fire broke out inside a ranch-style home at 376 Church Hill Road. Firefighters arrived to find smoke streaming out of a hole in the roof, but no flames were visible.

Augusta Battalion Chief David Groder said the home is owned by Christina Brochu, who discovered the fire when she returned home.

Groder believed the fire started in the kitchen. He said the house sustained mostly smoke and heat damage that could be repaired.

The toaster was pinpointed as a possible cause because the fire started on a kitchen counter near the toaster, which was the primary heat source in the area.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]


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