Four people escaped uninjured Wednesday when a fire started in their Scarborough home.

The fire, which appears to have been started accidentally, began on a rear porch, then spread to an addition to the home at 12 Church St., Scarborough Fire Chief Mike Thurlow said.

Thurlow said the fire caused extensive damage to the addition but firefighters prevented flames from entering the main living quarters.

“It did a good amount of damage to the addition, but not the main house,” the fire chief said. The main house did sustain some smoke and heat damage, but after repairs have been made the home should be habitable, Thurlow said.

A couple, their daughter and a grandchild, who live in the two-story Cape-style residence, escaped and were not injured.

Thurlow said the exact cause of the fire, which was reported around 11:46 a.m., remains under investigation.

It took firefighters from Scarborough, Portland, Biddeford and Saco about three hours to bring the fire under control.

The Maine Chapter of the American Red Cross said it will work with the family to ensure they have food, a safe place to sleep and other essentials. The Red Cross said it will also provide financial assistance.


The head of Maine’s economic development office plans to step down next week.

Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais said Tuesday that he will resign effective June 22. He has held the post since May 2011.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage praised Gervais’ leadership and said he “worked collaboratively across departments to increase trade and tourism with tremendous success.”

Gervais said he appreciated the opportunity to lead the department and the trust placed in him by LePage.

LePage had nominated Gervais to lead the Maine State Housing Authority earlier this year, but his confirmation was blocked by Senate Democrats.


Officials say a man who said he had a gun robbed a Maine bank.

Orono police say an unidentified man entered the Bangor Savings Bank Tuesday afternoon and gave a note to the teller, threatening him for cash. WCSH-TV reports the note also said the robber had a gun.

The teller complied and the robber fled on foot with the cash. Police say no weapon was shown and no one was injured.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6 feet tall, with a thin build. He was wearing dark pants, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and sneakers. He was disguised with a black mask and dark sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Penobscot Regional Communications Center. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

BRADLEY, Maine (AP) — A high school student in Maine is now the proud owner of an ice cream parlor that he purchased a month before his graduation.

Eighteen-year-old Jack Watkins bought Spencer’s Ice Cream in Bradley last month, and graduated from high school on Sunday. WABI-TV reports many of his employees are older than him, including his sister Emily Watkins.

Watkins says running a business is hard work, but he’s excited to do it and wants to give back to the community. He says he is collecting donations for a family who lost their home in a fire.

Employee Jean Abbot says she’s excited about the store’s future, and Watkins says he’s gearing up to run special events over the summer.

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