Heat tape to blame in Sullivan fire

{youtube}lREskfItyAg&list{/youtube} SULLIVAN — A fire that gutted a bungalow Jan. 24 was caused by malfunctioning heat tape, according to Fire Chief Chris Eklund.

Eklund said the finding was made by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, which investigated the blaze that occurred two houses away from Sumner Memorial High School.

“The heat tape was right by the front door where the fire started,” Eklund said.

Firefighters huddled periodically in the gymnasium at the high school, escaping subzero temperatures that froze water as soon as it hit the ground.

“The air packs kept freezing up too,” Eklund said. “We had to put them in the back of the truck to warm up.”

The house’s occupants, Wayne Boyington, Chelsey Carney and their 1-month-old son, Mason Daniel Boyington, are living temporarily with Carney’s parents in Hancock.

Eklund said firefighters had to let water run through their hoses continuously in order to keep the lines from freezing.

He said state road crews were on hand to salt and sand the icy roads, which made for treacherous footing for the firefighters.

Boyington, who was renting the house, said he put a kerosene-fired space heater outside the home in an effort to thaw the pipes.

“It was about 7:30 a.m. and the little guy got up and was waiting to get his bottle,” Boyington said. “I told Chelsey to make me a pot of coffee. I never got that cup of coffee.”

Donations can be made at the Sullivan Fire Department and the Sullivan town office.

A neighbor, Sadie Rodgers, is helping to organize a Chinese auction for the family Feb. 17 at the Knights of Pythias Hall in Gouldsboro.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Fenceviewer Staff

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