Firefighters from all four MDI towns responded to a woods fire at the home of former Sen. George Mitchell in Seal Harbor on Sunday. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDPD

Sen. Mitchell home saved from fire



MOUNT DESERT — Fire burned more than an acre of woods and threatened the Seal Harbor home of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell on Sunday evening.

No one was injured in the fire.

Mount Desert Fire Chief Mike Bender said Mitchell’s 17-year-old son, who was the only one at home at the time, started the fire “unintentionally” and that “a [cigarette] lighter was involved.”

Mitchell has one son, named Andrew.

Bender said a Maine Forest Service Ranger investigated the fire and that no charges are being filed.

He said he and Lt. Bruce Walton were the first to arrive at the scene of the fire.

“It was going pretty good,” he said. “It was up in the trees and was getting wind-fed a little bit from the ocean breeze. We got some water on it and knocked it out pretty quickly.”

He estimated that the fire got to within 50-75 feet of the house.

A woods fire threatened the home of former Sen. George Mitchell in Seal Harbor on Sunday. PHOTO COURTESY OF TOWN OF MOUNT DESERT

A woods fire threatened the home of former Sen. George Mitchell in Seal Harbor on Sunday.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TOWN OF MOUNT DESERT

“It was right next to the residence and kind of pushing toward it a little bit,” Bender said. “That was my first concern. So, the first (hose) we pulled out, we put between the fire and the house to protect the house.”

He estimated that between one and two acres of woods were burned.

Bender said the fire was first reported at 5:55 p.m.

“A resident on Cranberry Island called and said they could see what appeared to be a fire somewhere in the area of Cooksey Drive,” he said. “Soon after that, we got a 911 call from the [Mitchell] residence stating that there was an out-of-control wildland fire on the property.”

The fire did not spread beyond the six-acre Mitchell property at 12 Hills Road. The assessed value of the house and land for tax purposes is just over $3 million.

The Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Tremont fire departments responded to the Mount Desert Fire Department’s request for assistance in fighting the blaze.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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