CORINNA, Maine — Firefighters were pushed to their limits Monday and Tuesday when they fought three structure fires in less than 24 hours.
One was in Sangerville on Monday night and two were in Corinna on Tuesday.
Firefighters from a half dozen departments, including Corinna, fought a blaze Monday night at the Grinnell family home on Route 23. No one was home at the time of the fire. One Sangerville firefighter was injured when a large slab of ice fell from the roof and pinned him to the ground.
Just 12 hours later, at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Corinna and other area departments rushed to the Clinton Fox dairy farm on Nokomis Road after a neighbor reported the milking parlor was on fire.
Corinna Capt. Steve Brown said a short in electrical wiring likely caused the blaze. No one was injured, but one calf was trampled when Fox rushed 92 milking cows from the barn to safety. Brown said Fox called a livestock dealer and sold the entire herd later in the morning.
“They had to be milked,” Brown said.
About 3 p.m., when the Corinna fire trucks were barely back on line after the dairy farm fire, a family member living next door to Laurie Sokoloski’s home on Route 7, also known as Dexter Road, reported seeing smoke coming from the roof area around the chimney of the two-story wooden structure.
Chief Leslie Bolstridge said that when firefighters arrived, the upstairs of the home was fully engulfed in fire, and smoke was coming out all sides of the home.
“We were able to knock it down fairly quickly with the help of Newport and Dexter (fire departments),” he said.
No one was home when the blaze was spotted, but when Sokoloski’s daughter, Ashley McGeoghegan, arrived at the home, she rescued the family’s pets. They included one bird, six cats, two dogs and a large snake named Apollo. Her brother, Tony McGeoghegan, climbed on the roof and attempted to put the fire out with buckets of water. Both McGeoghegans lived in the home with their mother.
Ted Sokoloski, Sokoloski’s son who lives in Dexter, raced to the scene after his mom called him and told him the house was on fire.
“It was the light socket,” he said. “That’s what started the fire.”
Bolstridge said so many fires in such a short period of time not only strains local resources, but illustrates the vital importance of mutual aid.
Bolstridge said the fire marshal’s office was contacted to investigate both Corinna fires.