A Hermon house is a total loss after a propane tank exploded and the home caught on fire.
The fire at 876 Blackstream Road was first called in at 6:16 p.m., Hermon Fire Capt. Chandler Corriveau said.
The fire began with heavy flames in the backside of the home, Corriveau said, but early responders could already hear the sound of multiple propane tanks venting. A tank about 400 feet behind the residence proceeded to explode, resulting in a significant blaze that caused the lightweight building to partially collapse.
The explosion of one of the propane tanks only worsened an already significant blaze, Corriveau said.
“When it [exploded], the fire consumed pretty much everything,” Corriveau said.
There were no occupants in the home at the time of the fire — the owners were not in town, according to Corriveau. The Penobscot Regional Communications Center was able to confirm that the family was not home at the time the blaze started and that there were no pets in the home, he said.
With the occupants not home at the time of the blaze, it remains unclear what started the fire. The office of the Maine State Fire Marshal, which had representation at the scene, will conduct a joint investigation with Hermon Fire and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office to determine what caused the flames, Corriveau said.
With significant damage throughout the home, it is a total loss and will need to be torn down, according to Corriveau. No firefighters were put inside the building as they fought the blaze because it was too unsafe to do so, he said.
The severity of the fire brought out numerous departments, including those from Hermon, Levant, Carmel, Etna, the Bangor Air National Guard, Bangor, Hampden and Newburgh. Hermon Ambulance and officers from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office were also at the scene.
Authorities closed off much of Blackstream Road during the fire.