(From the Lincoln News)
EDINBURG – A Wednesday, July 26 fire remains under investigation by the state Fire Marshal’s Office after a stove fire gutted a house despite a quick response by firefighters.
“The first alarm sounded at 5:45 p.m. and we were on scene with 10 firefighters at 5:57 p.m.,” Howland Fire Chief Josh McNally said.
The call came in as Howland’s team was conducting training at the station, initially reported as a stove fire at 791 Edinburg Road, a property owned by Dale and Emma Jean Cook but being
rented out to an unnamed family.
“The resident reported he was cooking moose meat on the stove and stepped outside to take a phone call,” McNally said. “When he came back inside, a fire had spread from the stove up the wall to the cabinets.”
Firefighters immediately attacked the fire, using a “deck gun” on the engine to blast the front of the building with water. However, McNally discovered the fire was much worse than reported when he circled to the back of the house.
“Fire was coming out of every window, curling up over the roof,” he said. “A pool in the back was dry and had started melting.”
The chief said the resident allegedly attempted to first contain the fire with the hose attached to the kitchen sink and then with the garden hose from outside. At some point during the effort, he determined the fight was hopeless and began removing items, such as firearms, from the house while his son called 911.
McNally said the attack was also hindered by the metal roof, which kept firefighters from digging through the top and attacking the source of the flames.
The other challenge faced by responders was available manpower, as the severity of the blaze quickly exhausted those first on scene. Firefighters from Lincoln, Passadumkeag, Burlington, Sebois Plantation, Milford, Old Town, LaGrange, Bradford and Alton were all called upon both for equipment and additional personnel as the fire burned into the night and into the first hours of Thursday morning.
“We kept rotating crews in,” McNally said. “You couldn’t get a better crew working together, even in a big city department.
“Everyone knew what needed to be done.”
Firefighters cleared the scene at 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Later that day, a small crew returned to address a small rekindle.
No one was hurt in the incident.