A photo from the town’s tax records shows the mobile home at 420 Cundy’s Harbor Road prior to the fire on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Fire destroyed a 1970 single-wide mobile home on Cundy’s Harbor Road on Wednesday, Dec. 15, displacing a family of three.
The family’s dog died in the fire, according to Cundy’s Harbor Fire and Rescue Chief Benjamin A. Wallace Jr. The family was not home when the fire started, but the landlord lives nearby and called 911 at 10:18 a.m. Firefighters were dispatched at 10:20.
Wallace also lives nearby and was the first firefighter to arrive at 10:22. Upon arriving, he called for “all hands,” which means all available firefighters in Harpswell should respond.
The fire started near a bureau in the corner of a back bedroom and spread into a hallway and bathroom, according to Wallace. The cause has not been determined.
The bedroom door was closed, slowing the fire down and buying time for firefighters, Wallace said.
The owner of the trailer broke the bedroom window before firefighters arrived. When the first fire engine pulled up at 10:26 a.m., “we hit the fire with the first hose through the broken window” until enough firefighters were present to enter the building, Wallace said.
“All occupants were accounted for and the fire was knocked down by 10:35,” Wallace said in an email. Although firefighters extinguished the flames before they could spread throughout the building, the damage rendered the mobile home “a total loss.”
Wallace said the role of the closed door illustrates an important fire safety lesson. “Closing your bedroom door at night and having working smoke alarms can buy you time to use your second egress if the fire is not in the same room,” he said.
Firefighters cleared the scene at 12:30 p.m.
The Cundy’s Harbor Volunteer Fire Department responded with eight volunteers, the Orr’s and Bailey Islands Fire Department with 10 volunteers and the two town firefighters, and Harpswell Neck Fire and Rescue with four volunteers, for a total of 24 people, along with three fire engines, three tankers, two squad trucks and an ambulance. The Brunswick Fire Department sent a fire engine to the Orr’s Island station to cover any other calls in town.
The Red Cross responded to meet the family’s immediate needs, such as shelter, food and replacement medications, a spokesperson said. The Times Record reported that an adult and two teenagers lived in the home.
Sherry Gilley owns the trailer, according to town records. The town gives the value of the three-bedroom home at $10,900.