LEWISTON — Firefighters battled flames in a single-story house on Martin Drive on Thursday evening after neighbors reported seeing smoke pouring from the home.

Police and fire crews who entered the house minutes after responding reported that no one was inside. According to a neighbor, the woman who lives at 34 Martin Drive was not home when the fire started shortly after 5 p.m.

The fire was ruled accidental, although the cause was still being investigated late Thursday night. Damage was estimated at $80,000.

The first firefighters to arrive reported thick smoke pouring from the house. Firefighters attacked the flames inside and cut holes in the roof to ventilate the smoke.

By about 5:40 p.m., firefighters reported that the blaze was under control. Lewiston fire Inspector Paul Ouellette was called to the scene to begin an investigation into the cause.

While fire crews battled the blaze, police blocked off traffic near the intersection of Martin Drive and Fortier Road. Martin Drive runs off Lisbon Street, across from the end of Scribner Boulevard.

The woman who lives in the house was staying with relatives Thursday night, fire officials said.

Fire crews battle a blaze Thursday night on Martin Drive in Lewiston. (Mark LaFlamme/Sun Journal)

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