COURTESY OF Dedham-Lucerne Fire Department

Light left on blamed for Dedham house fire

COURTESY OF Dedham-Lucerne Fire Department
This Chestnut Road home in Dedham was heavily damaged by heat and smoke after a fire broke out inside Thursday afternoon. Investigators found a halogen light had been left on in a room that was being renovated, and flammable material came in contact with the light.

DEDHAM — A Chestnut Road home was heavily damaged by heat and smoke after a fire broke out in the house Thursday afternoon.

No one was injured in the fire.

Fire officials determined Friday that the fire was caused by a construction light that had been left on in the home while renovations were being done.

Dedham-Lucerne Fire Chief Craig Shane said Friday that firefighters were called to the three-story Jane and Burt Davis Jr. residence on Chestnut Road at about 3:50 p.m. on Thursday.

The fire was reported by one of the couple’s children, Shane said, who arrived home to find “smoke seeping out of a second-story bedroom window.”

While firefighters were en route to the scene, accessed by a couple miles of narrow, dirt camp roads on the south side of Phillips Lake, they got word that the smoke was getting heavier.

Shane said firefighters found a “working fire in a bathroom on the second floor of the house,” and intense heat and heavy smoke on both the second and third floors.

Crews were able to put the fire out pretty quickly, according to Shane, but there was heavy smoke and heat damage on the second and third floors. He said water damage was minimal.

Firefighters from Holden, Eddington and Ellsworth helped battle the fire, and firefighters from Orrington also responded later on. Shane said there were about 25 to 30 firefighters, in total.

Firefighters remained on scene until about 7:20 p.m. Thursday.

Shane said the house, which he estimated is about 10 years old, was undergoing renovation work in the bathroom and a walk-in closet on the second floor.

Firefighters initially suspected an electrical issue was to blame for the fire. Shane said an investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was on scene Friday morning and determined the specific cause.

“He confirmed that a halogen light had been left on after the room was painted,” said Shane. “The heat from the halogen light caught some towels and other material on fire.”

Shane said the home is well-built and tightly insulated, which meant there wasn’t a lot of air trapped inside to feed the fire.

The fire caused “some severe structural damage” to the bathroom and walk-in closet, Shane said.

As of Friday, Shane said it remained unclear whether the Davis family has homeowner’s insurance. In addition to the parents, there are four children in the family. They also have a dog.

None of the family members or the pet was injured in the fire. Shane said he thought the extent of the damage was such that the family would be unable to stay at the home for the time being.

Michelle Begin, administrative assistant to the selectmen in Dedham, said Friday a meeting will be held this weekend to see what the community can do to help the Burton family.

The meeting will be held in the library at Dedham School (2065 Main Road/Route 1A) at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

For more information about that event, or to offer assistance to the family, contact Heidi Fish by email at [email protected]

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Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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