One person died and a second person was injured in a fire that destroyed much of a single-family home on Broadway in Portland on Wednesday morning.

Firefighters responded around 8:15 a.m. to a single-family home at 107 Broadway in a neighborhood off Forest Avenue. When they arrived, most of the first floor of the building was consumed in flames, Portland Fire Chief Keith Gautreau said.

First responders also found a woman on the front lawn with injuries. She was taken to a Portland hospital and was listed in stable condition, Gautreau said.

A spokesman for the Portland Police Department and the Portland fire chief did not respond to emails or voicemails Wednesday evening seeking more information about the fire victims.

An initial search of the building was called off due to heavy smoke and fire conditions, and all firefighters were ordered out of the building and to take defensive positions outside. It took about 20 minutes to bring the fire under control, Gautreau said.

The body was found on the first floor during a secondary search after the fire was mostly knocked down, the chief said.

“The conditions were so bad, the incident commander had gone to defensive operations, which means we pulled everyone out of the building, we got all of our first responders accounted for, and then we went back in finally and did a secondary search,” Gautreau said, “So (it took) a little bit longer than it normally would, but it was for our safety and it was the right call.”

Portland fire investigators, detectives from the Portland police department and investigators from the state Fire Marshal’s office will investigate the cause and origin of the blaze, work that was expected to continue for most of the day Wednesday.

Gautreau said it was too early to say what may have caused the fire. No firefighters were injured during the response, he said. Investigators are still working to identify who lived in the building.

There was minor exterior damage to a home next door, where plastic siding had melted from the heat. A detached garage close to the building that burned also was damaged, but the fire did not spread to the second home.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

 

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