PARIS – A fire Thursday afternoon that damaged a two-story farmhouse may have been started by a candle left burning in an upstairs bedroom, the homeowner said.

“I think what happened, it was stupid, I left a candle going in the upstairs bedroom,” said homeowner Deb Andrews as she stood outside the smoky home at 363 Brett Hill Road as neighbors tried to comfort her and offer assistance.

No one was injured but the second floor bedroom was heavily damaged. Dozens of firefighters and trucks from Paris, West Paris, Oxford, Norway and Hebron quickly subdued the fire just before 4 p.m.

Fire Chief Brad Frost said there was heavy fire, smoke and water damage in the two rooms on the second floor and some smoke damage, but little water damage on the first floor. A damage estimate was not available Thursday night.

“I believe it is repairable,” said Frost of the second floor. The fire was contained before it went through the roof, but it did spread to the attached barn, he said.

Firefighters were on the scene for a little more than two hours making sure the fire was completely out. Frost said water was pumped from the nearby Stony Brook on Route 117 but did not have to be used.

“We had plenty of tankers,” he noted.

Andrews, who moved to the picturesque colonial-style home three years ago from Norway, said she left the candle burning in the bedroom in the morning and went about her daily routine downstairs, leaving the house at one point to do some errands. When she returned home she found the fire.

“I came home and saw smoke and heard the alarm,” said Andrews, whose husband and 18-year-old son were not at home at the time of the fire. Andrews said there were a few chickens, but no other animals on the premises.

Andrews said she initially ran from the house and then ran back in when she could not find her cell phone. Grabbing her phone, she immediately left again and called for help.

Frost said he had a piece of advice for people who have lit candles in their home: “If they use them, make sure they’re out when you leave.”

The fire is still under investigation.


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