CANTON – Two adults and two children escaped from their home on River Road on Sunday night when a chimney fire escalated into a structure fire.

Mark Blanchette, assistant chief of the Canton Fire Department, said between $25,000 and $30,000 damage was done to the century-old two-story wood-frame farmhouse.

The home, owned by Cecile Urbita, was occupied by her daughter, Julie Kilmer, a friend, Chris Moore, and Kilmer’s two boys, ages 17 and 10.

The older boy smelled smoke from his second-floor bedroom and alerted the family. The fire was reported at 10:35 p.m.

Blanchette said the old chimney, which serviced a wood stove, had been relined, but was poorly insulated and had a buildup of creosote, which likely led to the fire.

Blanchette said damage could have been far worse had Moore not thought quickly and immediately closed the doors to all the rooms. Considerable damage was caused to two second-floor rooms and the chimney was torn out in fighting the fire. Smoke damage was minimal because the doors were shut. Blanchette said winds were calm Sunday night, another factor that prevented further damage.

“And thank God for mutual aid. We were a good team,” he said.

Nearly 50 firefighters and 10 pieces of firefighting apparatus responded from Canton, Dixfield, Peru, Mexico and Livermore Falls.

The family is staying at a camp on Dearborn Road in Canton. Blanchette said the damage was covered by insurance.

There were no pets in the home, and most, if not all, of the Christmas items were saved.

Power was disconnected by Central Maine Power Co. for a short time before being restored.

Firefighters cleared the scene about 1:30 a.m.


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