The fire that damaged a Bowman Street home in Farmingdale Wednesday afternoon appeared to have started on the outside wall of the building near where a pellet stove vented outside, said one of the first firefighters on the scene.

When crews responded to the fire reported around 3 p.m., “there was heavy fire showing from the building, the roof line,” said the firefighter, Lt. Julian Beale of the Farmingdale Fire Department.

The fire worked its way to the attic of the one-story building, but crews kept the fire from spreading beyond the attic and the front half of the house, he said. No one was home at the time of the fire, he said.

“The guys did a really good job,” Beale said. “We were able to contain it to that area. It’s always nice when no one’s hurt, and it’s even nicer when you can save some of their personal belongings.”

Firefighting crews from Gardiner, Hallowell, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner responded to the blaze, Beale said. Firefighters began to leave the scene between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Farmingdale’s crew stayed until around 6 p.m. waiting for investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, he said.

Representatives from the fire marshal’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.


The owner of the building, Grace Montalbo, when reached by phone Thursday morning, said she was still in shock and dealing with the necessities. She was speaking with an insurance representative outside the house Thursday afternoon and declined to speak further.

Montalbo was featured in the Kennebec Journal in 2013 when local Hannaford supermarkets began stocking her line of natural cleaning products, Gracefully Clean. She was making the products in the basement of her home at the time of the story, and it’s not clear how the fire will affect the business.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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