A fire started on the third floor of this house on First South Street, which was being used for employee housing. The residents have been displaced, according to the Bar Harbor fire chief. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAYJE BENJAMIN/CT FIRE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Fire displaces workers – UPDATE


BAR HARBOR — Several residents living in employee housing on First South Street have been displaced after a fire started on the third floor of the residence July 29, according to a fire official.

At about 2 p.m., firefighters from across the island were called to 30 First South Street for a fire at the three-story colonial building, said Bar Harbor fire Chief Matthew Bartlett.

No one was hurt but there was extensive fire damage on the third floor and heavy water damage on the first and second. The first started on the third floor and burned into the attic.

The cause of the fire has been connected to an electrical failure, according to a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office. The fire marshal believed it started in an exhaust fan in the bathroom.

When firefighters arrived, there were flames coming from a third-floor window and a door of a fire escape. Fire crews were at the house until about 5 p.m. and they kept a watch into the evening to make sure no more fires flared up.

The building, built in 1910, belongs to Witham Family LLC. That business owns several hotels in the area. By Friday morning, yellow “caution” tape had been put around the property.

David Witham, the owner of the company, said that the residents, who are employees of his businesses, were all alright and were able to be moved to another house that he owned.

“It’s just a matter of picking up the pieces now and getting everybody back on their feet,” he said.

He was thankful for the community support and the quick action of the fire department, but said it was too early to say what would happen next for the house.

Ethan Genter

Ethan Genter

Former reporter for the Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander, Ethan covered maritime news and the town of Bar Harbor.

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