January 18, 2022

Rapidly spreading chimney fire heavily damages Newport home

NEWPORT — A chimney fire is being blamed for a fire Thursday morning that caused extensive damage to the William Nickerson home on Railroad Avenue in Newport.

Before firefighters could even clean and store their gear from an earlier car accident on Interstate 95, the fire call came in at 11 a.m.

Police Chief Jim Ricker said a passer-by reported seeing smoke coming from the home. Both Nickerson and his wife were away at work at the time of the fire but arrived on the scene as firefighters were tearing down their kitchen ceiling.

Newport Assistant Fire Chief Fred Hickey, after a survey of the interior of the home, said the preliminary cause was a chimney fire.

“The chimney fire spread out, into the wall on the first floor, second floor and attic,” said Hickey. He said that when Newport firefighters first arrived, heavy smoke was tumbling from the home.

The main fire was extinquished within 15 or 20 minutes, he said.

With an excellent response from Newport and Corinna fire departments, Hickey said, there were enough firefighters to allow for some to remove belongings for safekeeping. Several vehicles, including snowmobiles and motorcycles, were safely brought out from an attached two-bay garage. None was damaged.

Interior damage to the home, however, was extensive. Firefighters brought boxes of charred items outside, including gaily wrapped boxes marked “Xmas” and several pieces of furniture.

Hickey was unsure if the Nickerson family was insured.

Newport and Corinna fire departments provided about two dozen firefighters. Sebasticook Valley Hospital and Corinna ambulances also responded.

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