HALLOWELL — Two people escaped a burning house Tuesday night when a local police officer and passerby came to their aid.

The Hallowell Police Department said in a Facebook post that a fire was reported just before 10 p.m. at 1 Franklin St., where two occupants were reportedly trapped on a porch roof.

Crews respond to a fire Tuesday night at 1 Franklin St. in Hallowell. Photo courtesy of Hallowell Fire Department

Hallowell officer Noah Lebel arrived at the scene in less than a minute and was quickly helped by an unidentified man who ran over to assist, the department said.

“The civilian grabbed a ladder and together they were able to get the occupants to safety,” the department’s post said. “Thankfully there were no injuries.”

For more than three hours, firefighters from Hallowell, Augusta, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Manchester, Pittston and Randolph worked to put out the fire in the three-story wood-frame structure.

“We had heavy fire on the porch, extending to the exterior,” said Lt. Logan Bennett of the Hallowell Fire Department.


The initial report indicated two people were on the porch roof on the side of the house; Bennett said they were able to get to the roof from the second floor.

Maine State Police Lt. Thomas Pickering confirmed Wednesday that the Office of State Fire Marshal was investigating the cause of the fire.

Crews respond to a fire Tuesday night at 1 Franklin St. in Hallowell. Photo courtesy of Hallowell Police Department

Hallowell property records indicate that the home is owned by Peter Schumacher, who did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

Schumacher, an electrician, has served Hallowell in a variety of ways; he was a city councilor and a lieutenant in the Hallowell Fire Department.

“I’m incredibly proud of the actions of Officer Lebel and his quick thinking and the selfless actions of the civilian who jumped in and risked his own safety for someone he didn’t even know,” Christopher Giles, Hallowell’s interim police chief, said Wednesday.

Lebel was not immediately available for comment.

Police asked that if anyone knew the identity of the civilian hero, to send a direct message to the police department’s Facebook messenger.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to raise money for the Schumachers to help them replace what was lost in the fire.

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