December 09, 2019
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State cited fire department after blaze that killed captain

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
The helmet of Berwick Fire Capt. Joel Barnes is carried during a memorial service, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Portland, Maine. Barnes was fatally injured while shielding another firefighter from flames.

BERWICK, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor cited a fire department in the state with violations after the death of a captain in March.

WMTW-TV reports the citations came in the immediate aftermath of the death of Capt. Joel Barnes. The 32-year-old Barnes died fighting a March 1 fire after he became trapped on the third floor of an apartment building.

One of the violations against the Berwick Fire Department concerned the inability of all firefighters and responders to communicate with each other. Others concerned the department’s self-contained air tanks and safety at the scene of the fire.

The fire department and town of Berwick have addressed all the citations and paid a fine of $350. An associated report does not say if any of the problems contributed to Barnes’ death.



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