According to Lewiston Fire Department Inspector Steve Gregor, the tenant stoked the fireplace with two or three logs sometime before leaving to have dinner. While leaving a fire going is common if the main source of heat comes from a fire place or stove, Gregor said the chimney may have had previous interior damage causing the house to catch on fire. However Gregor wasn't able to fully inspect the interior because of the extensive damage to the house.
"I couldn't get close to the chimney because there was three feet of water in the basement and the member and the structures around the chimney are getting ready to collapse," said Gregor.
Firefighters were on the scene for two hours distinguishing the flames and traffic had to be re-routed. It's unclear how much the damage is costing the tenant, but it is unlivable in it's current state.