Robbinston family safe after leaping from burning house

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted March 24, 2009, at 1:26 p.m.

ROBBINSTON, Maine — A local woman, her grandson and two dogs had to drop out of a second-story window to get away but managed to escape relatively unharmed after their home was consumed in flames Monday night, the fire chief said.

Norma Galligan and her grandson, who Fire Chief Robert Merrill said is about 12 years old, were upstairs in the Route 1 house a few minutes before 9 p.m. Monday when they realized the house was getting hot and filling with smoke. They went to leave but found their way blocked by the fire, Merrill said.

“It happened so fast, she didn’t have time to realize what was going on,” he said. “She had to break an upstairs window to get out of there.”

After the window was broken, two dogs were dropped to safety and then Galligan and her grandson followed. They suffered minor injuries, including cuts from the broken glass on the ground, but otherwise were uninjured, according to Merrill. The dogs also were OK, he said.

A passerby reported the fire, and by the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later, the house was in flames, according to Merrill. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to two nearby barns, he said, one of which had cows inside. A garage also was saved from the flames, he said, but a car and an all-terrain vehicle in the driveway had significant heat damage.

“It looks like what started the fire was an overheated wood stove,” Merrill said.

Dan Galligan, Norma Galligan’s husband, was at his job at the Domtar mill in Baileyville at the time of the blaze.

Merrill said the Galligans’ home was insured.

According to Renee Leavitt, a friend of the Galligans’, a local woman is letting the family live in a vacant home she had put up for sale. She said the Robbinston ATV Club is collecting donations of household items to give to the Galligans, and anyone who wants help the Galligans can contact her at 454-7135 or Grant Seeley at 454-2685.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/03/24/news/state/robbinston-family-safe-after-leaping-from-burning-house/ printed on September 19, 2014