Firefighters attack Wednesday a blaze that injured two people and destroyed a residence on a private drive near Pleasant Pond in Richmond. Three Central Maine Power Co. linemen and two neighbors rescued a man and his mother who were trapped by flames on the roof of the year-round residence. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

RICHMOND — As flames and black smoke billowed from the house, Adam Douin and his two fellow Central Maine Power Co. workers watched the woman step precariously onto the ladder they had hoisted up to her.

The skin had been burned off her feet and she was struggling to get down. Then she slipped, falling about 20 feet.

Douin, along with Jeffrey Dyer and Carl Urquhart, were there to catch her before she hit the ground.

“It was pure panic,” Douin said Wednesday afternoon while on scene. “You talk about stressful situations. It’s hard to think when your adrenaline is through the roof. I’m just glad we got there in time. It could have ended way worse.”

Douin, Dyer and Urquhart were among the first ones to spot the structure fire Wednesday at about 2:50 p.m. The CMP mobile workforce employees were at a nearby yard for CMP materials when they smelled smoke coming across U.S. Route 201, which struck them as odd on a windy spring day with high fire danger. They drove over in that direction, could see black smoke rising into the sky, and came upon a 2 1/2-story house on fire at 1188 Brunswick Road on a private drive near Pleasant Pond.

As the CMP workers ran toward the house, they saw a man trying to climb out of a window about 10 feet off the ground. They helped get him down to safety.


“I asked him if there was anyone else in the house, and he said, ‘My mother! My mother!’ He was panicking,” Douin said. “We grabbed a ladder and stood it up to the lakeside of the house, and his mother was hanging out of the window.”

That’s when the CMP workers were able to rescue the woman from the steep pitch near the house’s roof. The names of the man and woman who were rescued were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

Neighbor Ted Luebert, who moved two houses down this past January, was among those on scene as the rescue occurred.

“The house was half-engulfed in fire,” Luebert said, praising everyone on scene who worked together.

Richmond fire Chief John Bellino said that the residence is near the Gardiner line, so that city’s fire department arrived on scene first, before Richmond’s. Mutual aid crews also arrived from Augusta, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Dresden, Randolph, Pittston and Woolwich, with about 30 firefighters on scene in all.

Bellino said crews believe the home was destroyed by the blaze, as was a camper and vehicle.

“They definitely deserve recognition,” Bellino said of the CMP workers who rescued the house occupants. “It was very dramatic. They certainly went above and beyond.”

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