Historic Dexter home damaged Thursday, June 12, 2008
By Diana Bowley of the Bangor Daily News: DEXTER, Maine
- Authorities say a lightning strike Tuesday night may have caused a fire that damaged a historic home at 16 Zionís Hill
owned by Martin and Martha Keaveney
Dexter firefighters were called about 7 a.m. Wednesday when the fire erupted after smoldering throughout the night in an
attached barn, according to Dexter Fire Chief Barry Deering. The owners had been out of the region on Tuesday night so no
one was home at the time of the fire, he said
The State Fire Marshalís Office investigator determined that the fire was caused by lightning, according to Deering
The fire damaged the barn and part of the first floor of the three-story home, which was built in 1835
Joel Costonis, who lives across from the Keaveneysí yellow home, said his wife woke him early Wednesday morning
believing that their house was on fire because there was so much smoke
"You couldnít see anything [because of the smoke]," he said Wednesday as he and his son Gianni, 2, sat outside on a step
and watched the action
Dexter Police Chief Art Roy, one of the first people on the scene early Wednesday morning, was overheard hollering to
find out if anyone was inside the home, Costonis said
"Itís obviously a terrible huge loss," Costonis said. He recalled slate shingles flying in all directions as firefighters dowsed
the roof. "It was scary."
The slate roof held the fire and heat inside, making it difficult to fight, Deering said. He said firefighters couldnít drill holes in
the roof to extinguish the fire
"With the heat and the size of the house, it was a great stop," Deering said. He praised the crews who responded for
saving the house
A lightning strike is believed to have started a fire Tuesday night at the home of Martin Keaveney on Zion's Hill
in Dexter. The fire apparently smoldered throughout the night and erupted early Wednesday morning. The family had been out
of the region when the strike A lightning strike is believed to have started a fire Tuesday night at the home of Martin Keaveney
on Zion's Hill in Dexter. The fire apparently smoldered throughout the night and erupted early Wednesday morning. The family
had been out of the region when the strike occurred and the fire began. (Bangor Daily News/Diana Bowley)
Deering said firefighters from Corinna, Sangerville and Dover-Foxcroft joined Dexter in fighting the fire. Much of the
furnishings and the two top floors were not damaged by fire but received smoke damage, he said.
The owners have insurance coverage, according to the fire chief.
"This content originally appeared as a copyrighted
article in the Monday, May 19, 2008 edition of the Bangor Daily
NEWS and is used here with permission."