SWAN’S ISLAND, Maine — A fire Monday afternoon destroyed a house owned by a local couple, according to the island’s fire chief.

The fire at Ted and Bonnie Turner’s house was reported by a neighbor driving by a few minutes after 1:30 p.m., Fire Chief Robert Gardner said Tuesday morning. When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, it was fully ablaze, he said.

“There were flames in the house and heavy smoke,” Gardner said. “It’s an older house that has been in the family for years.”

Both of the Turners got out of the house safely, he added. He was not sure if they had any pets but said he thinks the home was insured.

Gardner said an investigator with the state fire marshal’s office was expected to go out to the island on Tuesday to see if a cause can be determined. The fire chief declined to comment on how the fire may have started.

Swan’s Island received mutual aid from the Mount Desert Island towns of Southwest Harbor and Tremont, which sent firefighters and trucks over via lobster boat and the state car ferry that travels between Swan’s Island and Bass Harbor. Gardner said maybe 12 local firefighters were assisted by another eight from MDI.

Firefighters initially left the scene at around 6:30 Monday night but then returned an hour later after hot spots flared back up, the chief said. The side of one tanker truck iced up after firefighters returned to the scene, he said, but otherwise they did not have to deal with any weather-related issues.

After they went back, firefighters were at the scene until about 9;30 p.m., Gardner said. The Turners stayed with relatives on Swan’s Island Monday night and have been put in touch with the Pine Tree Chapter of the Red Cross.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....