ME- The only house in the new Pleasant Pond Village subdivision exploded early Monday morning, burning the one-story building to the ground.
The explosion and fire is being investigated, but officials suspect propane gas played a role.
The Turner Fire Department received a call about an explosion just after 5 a.m. It “woke up the whole neighborhood,” said fire Chief Mike Arsenault.
The explosion instantly turned into a fire, which leveled the house that was near completion, then burned an attached garage.
Left behind was a 100-foot-long debris field of insulation, siding, windows and door frames around the foundation. Everything on top of the foundation just “went away,” said Deputy Chief Win Coleman.
By 7:30 a.m. the fire was under control.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate and spent Monday at the scene.
Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said officials are continuing to investigate. The building had power, but no appliances.
“There was electricity at the house. There was propane,” McCausland said. “The furnace was fired by propane. It could be a number of causes. The most likely is the gas. The question is, what was the ignition source?” McCausland said.
The homeowner, Randy Deschenes, was not at the house when it exploded, but did arrive to watch firefighters get the fire under control. As Marshal Chris Stanford examined the destruction, Deschenes and his wife, Dawn, watched from a Ford Bronco.
The house was the first to be built in the multi-lot subdivision off Pleasant Pond Road, and was nearly finished before Monday’s fire. Now, “the garage is flat,” Arsenault said, but the cement foundation for the home appeared to be intact.
There were no injuries.
It was unclear whether the property was insured. Dawn Deschenes declined to answer any questions Monday.
Assisting the Turner Fire Department were departments from Leeds, Livermore, Greene and Buckfield.