Firefighter hospitalized, a dozen suffer heat exhaustion fighting Lebanon fire

By Oliver Jenkins, Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.
Posted July 14, 2012, at 5:57 a.m.

LEBANON, Maine — One firefighter was hospitalized and more than a dozen others were treated on-scene by paramedics for heat exhaustion and other related injuries while battling a three-alarm fire that destroyed a home on Windswept Drive on Friday night.

Lebanon Rescue Department Assistant Chief Jason Cole said the homeowners were away and the house was unoccupied when the fire call first was received at 5:34 pm.

At this point, it’s unknown where and how the fire originated.

“We still don’t know at this time,” Cole said.

The Maine state fire marshal’s office has been notified and will be investigating.

Nearly a dozen area departments, including Lebanon, Alfred, Acton, Berwick, South Berwick, North Berwick, York and Milton, Rochester and Somersworth, N.H., went to 56 Windswept Drive.

Efforts to extinguish the fire were severely hindered by the ranch home’s remote location.

“The long narrow road made our efforts much more difficult,” Cole said. He estimated they used roughly 1,000 feet of line to reach the home, located 100 to 200 yards down a long dirt road in Lebanon.

According to Cole, the fire was under control at approximately 6:30 p.m. However, the damage to the home was already severe. “It’s a total loss,” he said.

The owners of the home since have been notified.

The status of the firefighter taken from the scene to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester wasn’t immediately known late Friday evening. Cole said because of the heat, high humidity, and additional heat from the fire, Friday’s conditions were extremely difficult for responding firefighters.

“Now that it’s under control the primary concern is making sure all firefighters are doing all right,” Cole said.

Although the fire was declared to be under control at 6:30 p.m, several small fires along with heavy smoke were visible shortly past 7 p.m. Firetrucks and ambulances still wererushing to the scene around 7:15 p.m.

Only sections of the home’s walls remained standing in the aftermath of Friday’s fire, which claimed the roof and destroyed the interior of the home. Fire crews were on scene until 10:25 p.m. Friday.

(c)2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.)

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http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/14/news/state/firefighter-hospitalized-a-dozen-suffer-heat-exhaustion-fighting-lebanon-fire/ printed on July 12, 2014