By Christopher Crosby and Amanda Johnson
OXFORD— An Oxford man was killed in a fire that destroyed his waterfront home on Hogan Pond Lane, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety said. Peter Lowe, 55, who lived alone at 144 Hogan Pond Lane, died in a fire that destroyed his two-story building, the State’s Fire Marshal’s Office said. His body was found on a bed in the home. According to a press release from Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Stephen McCausland, the State’s Medical Examiner’s Office declared Lowe died from smoke inhalation. Investigators said the fire likely began in a small bedroom in which Lowe was sleeping, though the cause of the fire cannot be determined due to the extensive damage to the building. Lowe’s home was surrounded by uninhabited, seasonal dwellings and investigators theorize that the building may have smoldered several hours before the fire was reported. There were no smoke detectors in the building, according to the report. Firefighters from five towns, including Oxford, Norway, Paris, Poland and Mechanic Falls, responded to the blaze around noon on Wednesday, closing off vehicle access to the narrow, privately maintained road. Crews on scene last week used chainsaws to cut through the walls and pull out insulation in an attempt to stop the fire, Oxford Fire Chief Scott Hunter said. About two-dozen firefighters responded to the fire, Hunter said. Tim Grenier, who lives down the road from the Lowe residence, said he was passing by when he noticed smoke coming from the building, remembered the home did not have a wood stove, and then called authorities. Smoke could be seen rising behind the Oxford Casino along Rt. 26, which runs parallel to Hogan Pond Lane. Water pumped from an outlet of Hogan Pond near Rabbit Valley Road was used as a water source fill trucks. Last Wednesday’s death is the third fire death of the new year. An elderly couple died when fire destroyed their home near Greenville on Saturday, fire marshals said.