A fire in the town of Hancock destroyed a house on Mud Creek Road early Monday morning after an explosion woke neighbors, according to the local fire chief. The homeowners were away on vacation at the time. Credit: Stu Marckoon | Lamoine Volunteer Fire Department

A Hancock house was destroyed in a fire early Monday morning after neighbors reported an explosion at the address, the local fire chief said.

The owners of house, located at 145 Mud Creek Road, were in Washington state when an explosion at the property awoke neighbors around 1:10 a.m., said Chris Holmes, chief of the Hancock Volunteer Fire Department.

When they looked out their windows to see what had caused the noise, the house across the road was fully engulfed in flames, he said.

By the time firefighters were called and then arrived a few minutes later, the blaze had spread to an adjoining barn, which also was destroyed.

Firefighters from Ellsworth, Franklin, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan and Trenton responded to help fight the fire, the chief said.

“We put water on it until we had it under control,” Holmes said. “That was around 5 a.m.”

Twice more that morning, the smoldering remains caught fire, prompting the fire department to bring an excavator to the scene to pull the rubble apart so it could be doused with water, he said.

The Maine fire marshal’s office sent an investigator to the fire scene Monday afternoon, but determining the cause of the reported explosion is unlikely because of the extent of damage, according to the chief.

“They are on their way back” to Maine from Washington state, Holmes said of the homeowners. “They were insured.”

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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....