May 23, 2019

Fire destroys Patten home that was remodeled recently

PATTEN — A fire of undetermined cause Saturday afternoon destroyed a 1 1/2-story house on Carver Street in Patten.

According to Barry Somers, a captain with the Patten Fire Department, the fire at the John Alexander residence was reported at 2:05 p.m. He said heavy smoke was coming out of the second floor windows and the eaves when firefighters arrived.

Two pumpers and a tanker from Patten responded. A pumper and tanker from Island Falls were called for mutual aid. In all, about 25 firefighters fought the fire for about four hours.

There were no injuries, but one Patten firefighter suffered heat exhaustion. He was treated at the scene by the Patten Ambulance Service and returned to fight the fire.

Alexander’s wife, Wendy, her daughter and mother were at home when the fire was discovered. Alexander and two sons were away for the weekend.

The house, which had been in Wendy Alexander’s family for several decades, had been completely restored and remodeled during the last four years. Alexander had only recently finished putting new siding on the house and was completing work on one more room.

Somers said the second floor of the house was gutted and the first floor suffered considerable smoke, heat and water damage. Neighbors managed to save some of the family’s belongings and furnishings from the first floor, he said.

Assistant Fire Chief Claude Ouellette said Sunday that the residence was insured. He said the family was staying temporarily in a camp on Shin Pond.

He said no exact cause for the fire had been determined, but that it apparently started in a second floor room where Wendy Alexander kept ceramics.

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