An early evening fire Sunday consumed a home at 217 Parkinson Lane but the exact cause remains undetermined.

Fire Chief Paul Rooney said Feb. 26 only the homeowner was present at the time of the fire. Departments from Northport, Belfast, Lincolnville, Belmont and Morrill responded to the blaze.

According to property tax records, the property is owned by Nancy Casey Reidy and her daughter, Tiernan Reidy. The home, of which nothing is salvageable, was valued by the town at slightly more than $137,500.

A standalone garage on the property was spared and Rooney said he thinks the home was insured.

Rooney said Tiernan Reidy and two dogs were able to escape the house without injury before firefighters arrived just after 7 p.m. While the exact cause hasn't been determined, Rooney said he believes it began in the area of a wood stove.

Firefighters faced challenges getting to the house, as the road was icy and narrow, making it difficult for the large trucks shuttling water from a source near Outdoor Sportsman on Route 1. A lack of manpower and the metal roof on the house hampered efforts to fully extinguish the fire, the chief said.

"The fire would just sit there and laugh at us," Rooney said, adding an excavator was brought in Monday morning to douse the remaining hot spots and remove the metal roof.

Fog and rain held the smoke close to the ground, he said, making it difficult to tell in the dark where there was still fire. Some 30 firefighters who initially responded were sent home at 12:30 a.m.

"We knew it was still burning," Rooney said, "but I used up all my manpower last night."

After sending most personnel home, Rooney and a handful of others returned to the scene to continue dousing the smoldering remains with water. For a few hours, it was left unattended and flared up at 6:30 a.m. as Rooney was heading back, once again, he said. This morning, another 30 firefighters were available and responded to help.

Rooney said firefighters later were told Reidy smelled smoke earlier in the day, "but didn't want to bother us" because she wasn't able to pinpoint a source. By the time the fire department was alerted in early evening, Rooney said, the fire was established, with visible flames by the time firefighters arrived.