SIDNEY — A local man was arrested on an assault charge Monday night after refusing to leave his burning house on Dinsmore Road and attacking a firefighter, according to the police and Fire Department officials.

Firefighters responded to a report about the fire at 132 Dinsmore Road around 7:30 p.m. Monday and found the ranch house in flames, said Sidney Fire Chief Richard Jandreau. A man, a woman and a young girl were home when the fire started, he said. The names of the woman and the girl were not available, but Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, said Dana L.J. Nadeau, 51, was arrested at the scene on an assault charge.

Nadeau refused to come out of the house when firefighters arrived, and he hit a firefighter, Jandreau said. The woman and the girl had crawled out of the house through a bedroom window and were outside, but the man was still inside and was refusing to come out, he said.

“He didn’t want to come out of the building. He was trying to protect his house, he said, and he struck one of our firefighters,” Jandreau said.

The firefighter, whose name Jandreau did not want to release because he was taken to the hospital, eventually got the man out of the house but also suffered from smoke inhalation.

“He was absolutely going above and beyond his duty trying to get everyone out,” Jandreau said.

“The only thing I can surmise is that he was trying to save his property and put the fire out,” he said of Nadeau.

The fire started when Nadeau was working on a snowmobile in the garage attached to the house. He was siphoning gasoline out of the snowmobile, and the fumes ignited because of a running space heater nearby, Nadeau said.

Nadeau suffered third-degree burns and was taken to the hospital but later released. A second firefighter also was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

The house was damaged heavily in the fire, but the residents and three dogs all survived. They were renting the property from homeowner Leo Barnett.

“They’re not going to be able to live there,” Jandreau said. “We contacted the Red Cross, and they put them up for the night, gave them vouchers for food and clothing.”

Firefighters from Augusta, Belgrade, Oakland, Rome, Sidney and Smithfield responded. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection was also at the scene to deal with a reported fuel spill from a kerosene tank that also was in the garage.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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