Jan. 25--BERWICK, Maine -- The quick work of local firefighters helped save a mobile home on River Street from a fire that the homeowner said started due a turkey fryer Friday afternoon.
The Berwick Fire Department, assisted on scene by Somersworth, responded to a call at 29 River St. just before 3 p.m. Crews arrived on scene to smoke coming from under the house.
Assistant Chief Bruce Plante said the fire started to go up the wall but crews were able to stop it before it spread to the crawl space in the attic of the home.
Crews initially thought they'd have to open up the home through the roof, but were able to vent the home by opening roof vents.
Plante said crews had the fire under control within 20 minutes.
Though officials were still investigating the cause Friday night, the homeowner said a turkey fryer is to blame.
Joyce Garrity-Fitzpatrick said her husband asked their nephew to insulate the pipes under the home, as they had frozen. Instead he used a turkey fryer to warm the frozen pipes.
She said the insulation caught fire during his well-intentioned effort to heat the pipes.
She was home at the time with her mother, when the floor started to feel warm. She went below the home and found the insulation smoldering and smoke seeping into the home.
She said Friday afternoon that everyone made it out of the home safely, but she was concerned for the safety of her pets. Plante said he believed her dog and two cats faired well in the fire.
Garrity-Fitzpatrick said the home was built in 1977 and is uninsured. She said the home was in large part unaffected by the fire, but has a large hole in the back wall that will need to be covered.
South Berwick provided station coverage as local crews remained on scene for more than an hour checking for hot spots and overhauling any areas of concern.
Plante said the family will be displaced for the night as some wiring was damaged in the fire. Central Maine Power shut off the power to the home.
Plante said an electrician will need to rewire the affected areas before the power can be turned back on.
The Red Cross was called in to assist the family.
One injury was reported, as an occupant of the home had first-degree burns on his hand. Plante said he refused treatment.
Crews cleared the scene just over an hour after arrival.
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