Thirteen people, including two children, were left homeless Tuesday by a fire that destroyed a first-floor apartment in a building in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood.

Deputy Fire Chief John Everett said the fire started around 3 p.m. in the three-story wood-framed structure at 3 Sherman St.

Everett said 13 people lived in the nine-unit apartment building. They escaped and no injuries were reported, but the building’s managers opted to move tenants because of the stench caused by the fire in the ground floor living area.

Peter Sullivan talks with investigaters at the scene of a fire at 3 Sherman St. in Portland on Tuesday afternoon after a fire started in his apartment. Sullivan said he had to climb out his bedroom window to escape. Staff photo by Derek Davis

“The building smelled, but the damage was confined to the first floor,” Everett said. “We will be working hard tomorrow to get everyone back into their homes.”

Eight adults and two children had nowhere to live Tuesday night, Everett said, while three adults found other living arrangements for the night.

A Red Cross disaster action team was working with the fire victims Tuesday night to find shelter and food, said Ann Kim, spokeswoman for the Maine Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Residents of 3 Sherman St. in Portland, from left, Leslie Moncrieff, Amanda Beun, Grant McPherson and Jake Susla, wait to find out if they can return to their apartments after a fire in the building on Tuesday afternoon. Staff photo by Derek Davis

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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