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Safe Harbor fire destroys home

April 14, 2005

Sebago Captain Jason Schoolcraft,
covered in foam, takes a break
from fighting the fire.
Photo by Tara Greene

It had been a tense period for the folks who live along Anderson Road in the north end of Sebago. Starting with an ATV accident on Sunday, April 10 the Sebago Fire Department responded to four calls from the Anderson Road area in little over a week. The most tragic call came at 3:30 pm on Saturday, April 16, 2005. A neighbor called 911 and reported a house on fire at 33 Safe Harbor Road, with smoke and flames coming from the windows on the second story. Thankfully, everyone got out and no one was hurt, although the home was completely gutted by the fire.

Sebago Deputy Chief Alan Greene receives a
report from two Sebago fire fighters who
have been attacking the fire
Photo by Allen Crabtree

Sebago's entire fleet of three fire engines and two water tankers rolled within minutes of receiving the alarm from Naples Dispatch. Deputy Chief Alan Greene was the first officer on the scene and found that the fire had completely engulfed the structure . He sized up the situation and began deploying units and requested mutual aid from the surrounding towns.

Greene called Engine 4 on the radio "as you approach the scene lay a 4" supply line down Safe Harbor road from Anderson Road." He then continued "Engine 2, when you get here set up a water supply site at the corner and start flowing water to Engine 4."

Engines 3 and 4 arrived on the scene 9 minutes after they rolled. Fire fighter Ted Greene used the deck gun on Engine 4 to knock the fire down while fire fighters pulled hose lines and donned SCBA air packs to attack and keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

Fire fighter John Duschene was waiting for Engine 2 with one end of the 4" supply line. While he hooked it up to one of the Engine's discharge fittings, fire fighter Carl Dolloff engaged the pump and started flowing water just in time, as Engine 4 by then had exhausted its water supply in knocking the fire down.

A RIT team from Standish stands ready to
rescue any fire fighter who may be
injured while fighting the blaze
Photo by Allen Crabtree

As the first tank truck arrived we set the folding canvas water tank up and kept it filled from a series of tank trucks shuttling water between the fire scene and a fill site established at the Nason's Beach boar ramp.

Central Maine Power was soon on the scene to cut the power to the house and remove that hazard to fire fighting efforts. Mutual aid crews of fire fighters and apparatus kept arriving in a steady stream, from Naples, Standish, Bridgton, Baldwin, and Casco. Fire fighters attacked the fire with 2 " and 1 " hand lines, and soon had it under control. The aerial tower from Standish fire fighters arrived on scene and fire fighters used it to vent the metal roof. While all this was happening neighbors were wetting down their roofs with garden hoses, and the propane bottles on the camper parked at the side of the house began venting and caught fire. The camper itself began to burn. With a great deal of effort, however, none of the surrounding homes or outbuildings was damaged.

The fire left the home completely gutted, with only a shell standing. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Fire Marshall. The family lost everything in the fire. The American Red Cross put the family up at a hotel from Saturday through Tuesday, and issued them vouchers for new clothes, food, and helped them in replacing prescriptions. They also put the family in touch with service providers to help them through the next, difficult weeks.

Donations to help this family in need can be made to the American Red Cross at 2401 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102 care of the Randy Richardson Local Fire Disaster Relief Fund. For more information on donations, please call Fiona Fanning, Director of Emergency Services at the Red Cross at (207) 874-1192.

Last updated May 16, 2005

Copyright © 2005, Allen Crabtree

This article was edited and published in the Bridgton News on April 21, 2005 under the title "Weekend fire guts Sebago home".