WATERVILLE — City firefighters responded to a fire Thursday evening in a single-family home at 10 Oakdale Street, the second house fire of the day for the Fire Department.

Only smoke was seen coming from the attic, where the fire was contained, when firefighters arrived at the home. Flames initially were seen coming from the sides of the roof by a neighbor who made the call around 5:30 p.m., but they had extinguished themselves before fire crews arrived.

The home is leased by Betty Palmer, director of the Mid-Maine Homeless shelter, who was not home at the time of the fire. No other people or animals live at the home.

When firefighters gained exterior entry into the attic through the gables of the roof, they found only smoke and embers among the insulation, according to Waterville Fire Capt. Shawn Esler.

They were still at the scene around 6:30 p.m. to ensure that the fire had not extended through the home. Esler said the fire did not appear to damage the home’s interior, only the attic.

Palmer was leaving a meeting in Augusta when she got word of the fire and arrived at her home shortly before 6 p.m.

“I’m just thankful that no one was home,” Palmer said at the scene. “All the way here I thought, I hope the home isn’t engulfed in flames and spreading. There is a family that lives behind me.”

Palmer is moving this weekend for reasons unrelated to the fire. She said that when she retires, she wants to build a 300-square-foot home, so she is relocating to a 420-square-foot home in the area to see how she likes living in small places.

She doesn’t anticipate the fire changing her plans to move Instead, she took it as a sign encouraging her desire to downsize.

“This solidifies it,” Palmer said. “I don’t need all this space.”

Palmer tried getting in touch with her landlord but was only able to leave a voicemail. She does not know whether the home is insured. The homeowner’s name was not immediately available.

Esler said the fire’s cause is not yet known, and that the fire is still under investigation.

He added that the fire’s timing enabled a quick dispatch of qualified fire personnel because many of the department’s on-call firefighters had just gotten out of work.

Oakdale is a short street connecting Edgemont Avenue and North Street in the city’s North End.

Firefighters on Thursday morning put out a fire at 8 Colonial St. that was believed to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit in the attic. That fire was also in the North End.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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