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Flaming newspapers ignite Fort Kent countertop

FORT KENT, Maine — Attempts to resurface a countertop resulted in a small fire at a home at 104 North Perley Brook Road just before 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, according to the local fire chief.

A resident was using an epoxy product to resurface a kitchen countertop and placed newspapers near the countertop to catch any spillage of that product,  Chief Ed Endee of the Fort Kent Fire Department reported.

After the epoxy dried a bit, the remodeler used a propane torch to touch up the countertop, but flames from the propane device ignited the newspapers, which in turn ignited the new countertop.

Fourteen volunteer firefighters responded to the call out, but the homeowner was able to extinguish the fire before they arrived by beating the burning countertop with a wet rug, according to Endee.

The chief, however, strongly discourages individuals trying to put out fires themselves.

“We do not recommend that people attempt to put fires of that nature out. Many people have received serious injuries or died who have tried to fight fire themselves,” Endee said. “Call the fire department and get out of the house.”  

Firefighters cleared the scene about a half hour after after they arrived.

The residents spent the night at a neighbor’s home due to excess smoke and soot, and a foul smell in their home.

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