Casco homeowner dies of heart attack while attempting to fight fire

Posted July 05, 2012, at 12:10 p.m.

CASCO, Maine — Firefighters were able to knock down an early-morning garage fire in Casco on Thursday morning but the homeowner succumbed to a heart attack during the fire.

Paul Soutera, 63, attempted to fight the blaze immediately after it broke out in his garage at 278 Quaker Ridge Road, according to Sgt. Joel Davis of the state fire marshal’s office.

“He didn’t have any burns or smoke on him,” said Davis. “He collapsed of a heart condition during the fire.”

A Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy and his wife attempted to revive Soutera when authorities arrived on the scene just after 7 a.m.

Casco Fire Chief Jason Moen said the garage the blaze started in was connected to the home, and the garage was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

“We were able to establish a decent attack and keep it from spreading into the rest of the house,” said Moen.

Soutera called 911 when the fire broke out and went to wake his wife up before heading to the garage, according to Davis.

“When she came back out she found him collapsed” on the front lawn, Davis said.

While damage to the house was minimal, the garage was considered a total loss, Moen said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by 8 a.m., the chief said. Crews from Bridgton, Casco, Raymond, Windham and Poland assisted.

Soutera was taken by ambulance to Bridgton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The fire marshal’s office is investigating the incident.

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