Waterville fire caused by discarded cigarette

All seven occupants escaped unharmed
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 4:56 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - A fire at a home in Waterville forced seven people to escape out a window.

John Cyrus was investigating the smell of burning plastic around midnight on Sunday in his rented home when he found the front entrance blocked by fire.

“Got hit in the face with smoke. Came towards the front door, saw a wall of flames coming out. First thing I could think was just to get the kids out. Back door had stuff in front of it on the porch here. So we went through the kitchen window. I had to push it and break it out.”

John, his three young kids, a friend and their child, and one other adult all escaped unharmed.

John’s brother William lives next door, and says the family is working to help them out since they didn’t have renters insurance.

“My girlfriend woke up in the middle of the night called the ambulance, saw them, my brother throwing the kids out the window. My mom and I have a GoFundMe set up for them.”

As for the family pets; three dogs, four lizards, three cats and a pet rat escaped or were rescued. One cat remains missing.

“I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet but from what they told me there ain’t much that’s salvageable.”

John believes a cigarette he had been smoking earlier in the night ignited some trash just in front of the house.

“I’m pretty sure it might have been me that caused it. That definitely makes it harder.” he said. “My oldest son is six. He keeps saying how his Playstation is burned, or his boots are burned, or his coat is burned. But they’re in good spirits overall.”

John is grateful to have the chance to pick up the pieces and move forward, his family unharmed.

“Things are replaceable.” he said, before heading inside to see the damage.

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