Lewiston families left homeless as former funeral home burns

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Lewiston firefighters head to the vent of the cupola on the apartment building at the corner of Pine and Pierce streets in Lewiston on Saturday afternoon. A reported grease fire on the first floor quickly spread to the interior of the building, causing heavy smoke and water damage.

LEWISTON — A fast-moving grease fire destroyed the first floor at 101 Pine St. early Saturday afternoon, leaving 10 people homeless.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

A Lewiston firefighter looks at flames pouring out of an entrance to an apartment building at the corner of Pine and Pierce streets in Lewiston on Saturday afternoon as he waits for water to be delivered.

Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette said police received a call for help at about 1:15 p.m. A woman in the apartment had been heating oil to cook dough for lunch when a grease fire erupted. She tried unsuccessfully to put it out before fire crawled up the walls and kitchen cabinets before reaching the ceiling.

The first floor was a total loss, Ouellette said.

At 2:20 p.m. he was still waiting to go inside to inspect the rest of the building, which is owned by Joe Dunn.

Two parents, a daughter and a granddaughter lived in the first-floor unit where the fire started. Two cats were saved from the fire, but a dog was killed.

No people were injured.

Authorities did not know how many other units the building had. The 1850 Victorian at the corner of Pine and Pierce streets was a funeral home until 2009.

"You should always pre-heat or cook your food at the lowest temperature possible," Ouellette said Saturday night. "I found the pan (where the fire started.) The burner burnt through the bottom of the pan."

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Lewiston firefighters knock down flames coming from the entrance to one of the apartments of the building at the corner of Pine and Pierce streets in Lewiston on Saturday afternoon.

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Comments

Dan Auger's picture

beautiful building

When Jack Forrest owned the funeral home, it was called Fahey - Forrest funeral home, and he put alot of money in that building trying to keep it top notch, I know I worked in it quite a bit. I don't know what renting rooms did to the inside of it, but, back in the day it was magnificent in there.

JUDITH MARDEN's picture

Beautiful historic house

Oh, Joe, please do whatever it takes to save that beautiful old house! Don't let the wreckers have it!

Bob Stone's picture

Conley & Fahey

The building housed the former Conley & Fahey Funeral Home. Many, many Lewiston Irish families said goodbye to their deceased loved ones in this building. The building has a lot of rooms.

RUSSELL DILLINGHAM's picture
staff

More info

Thanks for adding to the story Bob. After the Fahey funeral home closed, Guy B. Dostie Funeral Home was located there before he moved to outer Lisbon Street. However, the most important piece of history I thought should be mentioned is that is was originally built as a doctor's house and practice. Dr. Milton Wedgewood set up his practice in this property and from what I was told, the original grand parlor was still ornate and beautiful. They sure don't build them like that anymore.

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