WATERVILLE — Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after falling from the roof of a Brook Street apartment building they were working on in the city’s North End.

The injured men, whose names were not immediately available, were placed on stretchers and moved to waiting Delta Ambulances parked in the street.

Neighbors said the building, which appeared to be vacant, is owned by Arthur Turmelle, a well-known landlord who lives on nearby Ticonic Street and owns and has renovated many buildings in that area of the city.

Turmelle’s son, also named Arthur, was at the scene Wednesday morning and visibly upset, saying he did not want the matter publicized.

A spokesman for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor said in an email late Wednesday afternoon that OSHA had responded to the reported falls and opened an inspection. A search of OSHA’s online database did not turn up any prior safety incidents.

Waterville fire Chief Shawn Esler said at the scene that the men fell at least 20 feet from the roof to the ground, though it was not clear if they fell from scaffolding on the roof. He said the incident was reported at 9:13 a.m. and firefighters and rescue workers arrived within three minutes.

“I’m very fortunate we have a very skilled team here in the city,” Esler said.

He would not give details of the incident, including the names of the injured men. “We want to protect the interest of the patient,” he said. “They sustained injuries, obviously. The extent of those injuries will be determined by the hospital.”

He said he did not know for sure what hospital the men would be taken to, but he thought it might be MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Center for Health, which is about 1 mile away from the scene.

Waterville police were not at the scene, as no crime had been committed, according to Esler.

The two-story, greenish-blue apartment building the men were working on had scaffolding on the roof of its porch, near a peak of building. Ladders beneath the scaffolding appeared to be tied to something inside an open window. There was no house number on the building.

Brook Street runs between Main and Ticonic streets. On Edwards Street, which runs parallel and just north of Brook, Denise Belmont and Bette Marie Townsend were loading equipment into the back of a vehicle. The Brook Street house is visible from across the street.

Townsend said she was in her yard and heard a commotion but did not know men had been hurt in a fall.

“I was over here and I heard the ladders,” she said. “It sounded like they slipped and I heard somebody say, ‘Are you all right?’ and I said they have high, high ladders up there and one just sounded like it slipped. I was over here and I heard them and it was frightening.”

As she spoke, Juliette Turmelle, the elder Turmelle’s sister who owns Juliette’s Bakery & Deli on nearby Ticonic Street, was hurrying to the apartment building on Brook Street. Told by Belmont and Townsend that two men had fallen from the roof, Juliette Turmelle was visibly upset.

No one answered the door at the elder Turmelle’s house on Ticonic.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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