Woman Dies in Fort Fairfield House Fire
UPDATE, 8:00 am, 1/14/20:
The State Fire Marshal's Office says a body has been located at the site of a house fire in Fort Fairfield.
Investigators found the body in the basement of the home around 8:30 Monday night, after eight hours of digging through the fire rubble.
Officials believe the victim is the 90-year-old homeowner, Dawn Findlen, but the Medical Examiner's Office will need to confirm the identity. Findlen and her late husband, Bill, lived in the family farmhouse for decades, but Mrs. Findlen has lived alone since her husband died a year ago.
Fire officials say the cause of the fire will be undetermined because of the severity of the damage.
The fire was reported by a neighbor shortly after 4 a.m. Monday. The house was engulfed in flames when Fort Fairfield firefighters arrived.
UPDATE, 3:05 pm, 1/13/20:
State Fire Marshals continue their work attempting to locate the victim of an early morning fire in Fort Fairfield.
An excavator is being used to assist the recovery efforts, and most of the fire rubble had fallen into the basement of the home.
The victim is believed to be an elderly woman who lived there.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office says one person is missing following an apartment house fire in Fort Fairfield early Monday morning.
Fort Fairfield Fire Chief Vince Baldwin said a neighbor called 9-1-1 at 4:20 a.m. to report the fire. Crews from Fort Fairfield, Easton, Presque Isle, and Caribou arrived to battle the blaze on the Densmore Road.
The three-story building was flattened in the fire, according to Maine Public Safety Dept. spokesman Steve McCausland.
A team of fire marshal investigators was attempting to locate a woman who lives in the building and is unaccounted for. Baldwin said the woman was the only one living there.
The temperature at the site was -5°F Monday morning, which was expected to hamper recovery efforts. Fire crews are expected to be on scene most of the day.
We'll update this information as we learn more.