Hot chimney blamed for Green Street fire

SERIOUS SMOKE DAMAGE resulted from a Dec. 22 fire at this home at 33 Green Street, Bridgton, displacing its owner, Don Miles.

SERIOUS SMOKE DAMAGE resulted from a Dec. 22 fire at this home at 33 Green Street, Bridgton, displacing its owner, Don Miles.

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer
Extensive smoke and water damage makes rebuilding questionable following a Dec. 22 fire at the home of Don Miles at 33 Green Street.
The fire began in wood framing around a central chimney, and quickly spread into the wall between the kitchen and first-floor bedroom, said Fire Chief Glen Garland. “It was older construction, and the wood framing was too close to the chimney,” he said.
Miles was home alone when he spotted what he thought was a fire in the ceiling, and went across the street to a neighbor’s house to call for help at 7:39 p.m. When the first fire truck arrived four minutes later, flames were coming out of the second floor, Garland said.
“We were able to knock it down fairly quickly,” within 20 minutes, he said. Several more hours were needed to dig up the ceiling to make sure all embers had been extinguished.
Garland said he was told the home was insured, and while it “looked rebuildable,” the amount of smoke and water damage was extensive. He said Miles, an older gentleman who lived alone, was able to stay with family members that night. Garland said he didn’t know of Miles’s longterm plans. He said the fire department’s chaplain lives on the street and was able to offer assistance.
The Dec. 22 fire was the first structure fire in Bridgton in “quite a while.” Earlier in the evening, the department had sent a tank truck to Otisfield to assist with a structure fire in that town.
Around 45 firefighters responded to the call, with mutual aid provided by Naples, Harrison, Norway, Paris, Sebago, Denmark and Waterford.

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