NEWBURGH, Maine — When William Nadeau went outside Sunday night to get some wood to heat his Mudgett Road home, he noticed a glow coming from his nearby garage.
“I thought someone left the light on in the garage,” he said Monday.
It turned out to be a fire.
Nadeau had his wife, Judith, call 911 at around 10 p.m. while he grabbed the keys to the car and got their vehicle out of the burning building.
A man named Jeff who was driving by stopped when he noticed the flames, and “he helped us shovel snow to keep it at bay,” Nadeau said.
The garage sits about 4 feet from the home, where the Nadeaus have lived for more than 30 years.
“We lost a few things, but nothing that can’t be replaced,” William Nadeau said.
When firefighters arrived, the flames had spread to the upstairs of the garage, Newburgh Fire Chief Glen Williamson said Monday.
“There was fire in the front of the structure, and inside the doorway there was fire going up into the attic of the garage,” he said. “The upstairs was fully involved.”
Hampden and Dixmont firefighters were called to help fight the blaze, but those from Hampden were called off before they arrived, Williamson said.
Dixmont, which provided around a dozen firefighters to help the 15 from town, “did a great job helping us,” he said.
Nadeau thanked Williamson and the firefighters from Newburgh and Dixmont. “And Jeff, wherever you are, thank you,” he added. Nadeau said he did not catch the good Samaritan’s last name.
With cedar shingles on both the garage and the house, “it had the capability to be real nasty,” Williamson said. “Luckily, since we got so many people there early, it didn’t turn out too bad.”
The fire was extinguished fairly quickly and crews returned to their stations at midnight, the chief said.
The fire started in the area of a snowblower that was plugged into the wall, and appears to have been electrical in nature, Williamson said.
The homeowner said the garage will have to be replaced.
“We’re grateful the house is still here,” Nadeau said, adding jokingly, “I guess it’s one way of cleaning house, but I don’t recommend it.”