A Dresden woman and her dog are safe after a fire destroyed their home Sunday afternoon, Sept. 19.
Richard McCarthy, assistant Maine state fire marshal, said the fire is still under investigation, according to Shannon Moss, public information officer for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The cause is undetermined at this time, but there is no evidence of foul play, she said on Monday, Sept. 20.
Barbara Spillane’s home at 1226 Middle Road was reported ablaze at about 3:25 p.m. by the driver of a vehicle who stopped to call authorities.
Jessica and Joe Creamer also passed by the house and noticed heavy smoke and flames. Joe Creamer pulled his truck and trailer to the side of the road, shrugged on a safety vest and began directing traffic.
The road was soon blocked by fire engines from Dresden, Woolwich, Gardiner, and Pittston fire departments, and Wiscasset Emergency Medical Services. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded as well.
The fire was fully involved upon arrival, said Aurel Marks, deputy director of Wiscasset EMS. Although the blaze was quickly contained, smoke continued to pour from the roof and second-story windows, which the firefighters broke out for ventilation.
“These old houses have a lot of hidden areas,” Marks said. “They are putting water to these little pockets of fire and high heat so it doesn’t rekindle.”
A second call was placed by Lincoln County Communications Center for additional personnel from Alna and Farmingdale certified for air tank use to enter the house to tear out wallboard and other interior coverings.
Marks explained sheetrock and other material inside the building would be torn down to eliminate any hot spots.
Neighbor Steve Collemer, who lives immediately across the street, was working in his kitchen and said he did not notice anything at first.
“This is a high-speed road. You don’t really know something is wrong until cars start slowing down,” he said.
Collemer stepped outside and saw smoke billowing from Spillane’s first-floor window.
“We’ve worried about her for a long time,” he said. “This is tragic.”
Spillane was reported missing on Aug. 28, 2020, but was found by the Maine Warden Service later that day in the woods about a half mile from her home, according to a News Center Maine report.