Firefighters check for hot spots in the remains of a camper that burned early Sunday morning. The man who called the camper home escaped safely with his dog. PHOTO COURTESY OF KEITH HIGGINS

Man, dog survive camper fire

TREMONT — A recent purchase of a carbon monoxide detector may have saved a man’s life when a fire broke out Sunday morning in the camper he was living in.

An alarm from the new detector alerted the 30-year-old man and his dog in time for them to escape.

About a dozen volunteer fire crew members from Tremont and Southwest Harbor responded around 5:30 a.m. to the Cape Road property and found a camper surrounded by flames, Tremont Fire Chief Keith Higgins said.

When the alarm woke the man inside the camper, he saw flames coming from a hose connected to a propane heater within the 24-foot tow-behind, according to Higgins. The man attempted to put the fire out but it spread quickly to a wall and other objects inside the camper.

Crews were able to contain the fire pretty quickly, Higgins said, but were concerned for nearby structures. They were able to extinguish all hot spots by 7 a.m., Higgins said.

“It was a possibility [the fire] could have spread to the mobile home,” said Higgins about another occupied structure on the property. “Luckily it didn’t.”

There was another camper parked near the one where the fire started that was used for storage that was also destroyed, Higgins reported. Fire crew members did an overhaul and search of the contents of the campers but were unable to salvage many personal belongings.

Mount Desert Fire Department was on standby for the incident and provided coverage at the Tremont fire station during the firefighting effort.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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