No one was injured in a fire that severely damaged a 3-unit apartment house in Presque Isle early Sunday morning.

Presque Isle Fire Dept./Facebook

About 20 firefighters from Presque Isle and Easton responded to the blaze at 1 Centerline Road at approximately 3 a.m., according to Capt. Vince Baldwin of the Presque Isle Fire Department.

The fire started in a vacant first floor apartment in the back and may have been burning for some time before a smoke detector in the front of the house alerted the tenant there, Baldwin said. A man who lived in the front apartment made it out safely. His wife and two young children were not home at the time. The family lost all of their belongings in the fire.

Firefighters worked for several hours to extinguish the blaze and remained on site until about 9 a.m. Sunday.

Baldwin said there were working smoke detectors in all 3 units but they were not interconnected. It’s not known how long after the fire started that the smoke alarm in the main part of the house sounded.

The older home was constructed with balloon framing, with studs extending two full stories, Baldwin said. This allowed the fire to quickly work its way into the attic. The two vacant back apartments and the roof were severely damaged but the main structure is still standing, he said. The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation.

The house is situated at the end of Centerline Road where it meets U.S. Route 1.

The Presque Isle Fire Department received mutual aid from the Easton Volunteer Fire Department. Caribou Fire Department covered the station.