AUGUSTA — City firefighters spent almost two hours Wednesday at a smoke-filled, two-unit house at 14 Winthrop Court, dealing with the result of a furnace malfunction.

Augusta Fire Department Battalion Chief John Bennett said a smoke detector went off in the building, alerting a tenant, who called 911.

“When we arrived, there was smoke in the hallway, smoke throughout the whole building and smoke coming out the gable end,” Bennett said. Firefighters later determined that debris, including leaves and possibly a rodent’s nest, had blocked the top of the chimney, preventing the heating system from venting. He said it overheated the boiler and ruined it. No one was injured.

He said the majority of the firefighters’ time was spent venting the house, and that they left the scene when air quality monitors indicated the air in the building was safe.

“Once they get heat back in it, it could be occupied,” he said, adding that he expected a temporary heat source to be installed shortly.

Firefighters also used their ladder truck to help drop a chain down the chimney to ensure there was no more blockage.

Records show that the building — which is a block away from the Capital Judicial Center — was owned at one time by Kennebec County, and is owned now by Alliance Properties LLC, a company belonging to Matthew Pouliot, a Republican state legislator from Augusta.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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