Teenage girl rescues three brothers in house fire considered total loss

Posted Aug. 17, 2010, at 9:23 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:07 p.m.

DEER ISLE, Maine — Four children were uninjured after they escaped from the fire that destroyed their home on Church Street in Deer Isle Village Monday afternoon.

The fire at the home of Cheryl and Chip Cochrane was reported about 4 p.m., according to Deer Isle Fire Chief Brent Morey.

The four children, a teenage girl and her three younger brothers, were in the house when the fire started in a bedroom at the back of the house, Morey said.

“[The girl] scooped up the boys and got them out away from it, called 911 and then got them out of the house,” the chief said. “At that point, there was heavy smoke and they did see fire in the room.”

When the first firefighters arrived, fire was just coming through the roof, he said. Firefighters were hampered by winds that came up Monday afternoon and by the heavy smoke inside the house.

“We tried to make entry, but it was not viable,” Morey said. “We had a lot of problems finding access. There was heavy smoke and we couldn’t see anything.”

Firefighters fought the blaze from the outside, but Morey said it took them a long time to put it out. Firefighters left the scene at about 10 p.m. Monday and were back at the site Tuesday morning to deal with two small flare-ups, he said.

No one was injured in the fire.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office on Tuesday were looking into the possible cause of the fire. Morey said the fire was under investigation but it appeared that a power spike might have blown out a television set and set a small cardboard house on fire.

The house was considered a total loss, he said.

“It’s completely gone,” he said. “The walls are still there, but there’s nothing inside that’s salvageable.”

The house was insured. A friend of the family has offered the Cochranes a place to stay in a small rental home. The Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross also is assisting the family with funds for clothing, food and other immediate emergency needs. The Deer Isle Elementary School also is taking donations of goods for the family. Contact Roberta Johnson or Mike Benjamin at the school at 348-6301.

Red Cross officials noted that the Deer Isle fire is the sixth in Hancock County in as many weeks, which has tapped its resources at a time when the organization usually is raising funds to deal with fall and winter fires in its seven-county area.

The Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross receives no federal or state funds, and all its assistance comes from donations from businesses, individuals and towns in its service area. Anyone who wants to donate may contact the Pine Tree Chapter at 122 Target Industrial Circle, Bangor; telephone, 941-2903 or at its website http://www.pinetree.redcross.org.

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