December 22, 2013

Fire marshal probing Gardiner house fire

The homeowner’s missing dog turns up dead in Friday fire that was originally thought to be in Farmingdale

Staff Report

The Office of State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a fire that killed a dog and heavily damaged a Northern Avenue home in Gardiner Friday.

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AFTERMATH: Investigator Ken MacMaster, of the Office of State Fire Marshal, inspects a Gardiner home Saturday that was damaged heavily by fire the night before. Investigators and Farmingdale firefighters were attempting to determine a cause of the blaze.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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An investigator with the fire marshal’s office was at 94 Northern Ave. on Saturday. The investigator could not be reached for comment. The home, near the town line, was originally thought to be in Farmingdale.

The home is owned by Jason Joseph, firefighters said.

Mike LaPlante, assistant fire chief in Farmingdale, said firefighters were at the scene of the fire, which was reported at 5:50 p.m. Friday, until 12:30 or 1 a.m. Saturday.

There were no injuries to firefighters or other people in the fire.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

LaPlante said that when the fire was reported, it was thought to be in Farmingdale. “We were dispatched by our dispatcher, so we went,” he said.

Gardiner city assessor Curt Lebel confirmed Saturday evening that Joseph’s house is in Gardiner.

The blaze killed a dog that lived in the home, LaPlante said. The dog initially had been reported missing Friday night but was later found dead.

LaPlante said firefighters had the fire knocked down fairly quickly but had to remain on the scene for hours to make sure it was fully extinguished, and to clean up the scene.

“Everything takes longer this time of year. Things are frozen. It’s muddy,” LaPlante said.

Firefighters from several area towns responded to help fight the fire.

LaPlante said Joseph was able to retrieve some of his Christmas presents from the fire scene.

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