St. John Valley

Space heater causes Van Buren house fire

VAN BUREN, Maine — The person who lives in a home in Van Buren that caught fire early Friday morning escaped without injury.

Volunteer firefighters with Van Buren Fire Department responded just after midnight to the fire call at 103 Notre Dame St. 

Grand Isle Fire Department helped fight the fire, which was largely confined to the second story of the building. 

“Unfortunately the house sustained substantial fire damage to the second floor and heavy water damage to the first floor,” Van Buren Fire Chief Brian Caron said. 

The fire started when a portable electric space heater ignited some nearby combustible materials such as clothing or blankets, Caron said. 

“Going into the heating season, there are some unfortunate people who can’t afford fuel oil or firewood but they can keep their electricity on so they resort to using space heaters for warmth,” Chief Caron said. “You are supposed to keep three feet of clearance all the way around any type of heater and all heaters should be used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.” 

The Red Cross was called to assist the resident of the home as the dwelling was rendered uninhabitable, Caron said. There were no pets involved in the fire. 

St. Leonard Fire Department covered the Grand Isle Fire Department while the firefighters were at the Notre Dame Street residence. 

The firefighters went back to the station at 2 a.m. 

Caron said anyone in need of a smoke detector should contact the department or the Red Cross. 

VAN BUREN, Maine — November 19, 2021 — The interior of this Van Buren home was destroyed by fire caused when a space heater ignited some nearby materials. (Courtesy of Van Buren Fire Department)

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