RUMFORD – A chimney fire broke out at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon during the height of the snowstorm.

Fire Lt. Rob Dixon said firefighters first thought the fire had spread to the house because of smoke seeping through the eaves. However, the fire remained confined to the chimney, causing about $1,000 in damage to the interior walls of the home owned by the Jim Ridge family of 17 Urquhart St. The family is insured.

About 18 firefighters and four engines from Rumford, Mexico and Dixfield responded to the call. The Peru Fire Department remained on standby.

Dixon said more aggressive action to fight the fire was stalled by 45 minutes to wait for crewmen from Central Maine Power Co. to disconnect electricity. The public works crew sanded the hydrant area, and Med-Care Ambulance Service also responded.

He said miserable weather conditions of snow and cold made for tough firefighting and most likely were responsible for delaying a quicker response by CMP.

Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours.

Dixon recommended that Ridge not use the wood-burning furnace until the chimney is inspected.

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