The a fire that damaged a house on Second Street in Hallowell is under investigation, but fire officials say they suspect the cause was electrical.

“The alarm came in about 2 p.m.,” Hallowell Fire Chief Mike Grant said, but people in the area had reported smelling smoke in the area since about 12:30 p.m. “Apparently, it had smoldered for quite a while,” Grant said. “The homeowner was getting ready to leave and found the wall hot. He found the fire behind the light fixture and pulled it down.”

At that point, the fire was up in the ceiling and down the wall, Grant said.

Firefighters from Hallowell, Augusta, Farmingdale and Manchester responded to the fire, and access to that stretch of Second Street, between Lincoln and Vine streets, was restricted.

Jason Farris, a battalion chief with the Augusta Fire Department, said smoke was coming from the vent on the ridge of the roof on the ell between the house and the carriage house.

“The homeowner had a couple of fire extinguishers,” Farris said. “He wasn’t able to knock it down, but he was able to darken it down. If he had not had them, this would have been a much bigger fire.”

Grant estimated the damage to the building to be no more than $10,000 worth.

Electricity was cut off to the home while the fire was being fought, but once it’s turned back on, the owners will be able to return to the house.

A search of public records shows the house to be a multi-family home built in 1864.

“It appears to be electrical,” Grant said. “I’ve got the fixture and I will take it apart and see.”

The records also show the white clapboard home is owned by Deanna Hallett, the Hallowell city clerk.

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