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Rehab keeps firefighters cool at Maine mobile home fire

By Nok-Noi Ricker
The Bangor Daily News

BANGOR, Maine — A fire raged through a home Tuesday afternoon in the Cedar Falls trailer park on Finson Road, leaving the metal walls standing but destroying everything inside, said Bangor Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Cyr.

"It's totaled," he said. "The entire interior is burned."

Engine 6 arrived around 1:15 p.m. at the mobile home, five doors away from the trailer park's entrance, and the fire already was burning strongly.

Firefighters arriving at the scene reported "fire showing through the roof," Cyr said. "They did good to knock down the fire" within a few minutes.

Leroy Mayhew, who lives two doors down from the home, said his son, who was outside smoking a cigarette, smelled the smoke from the burning structure and alerted him.

"I saw all kinds of smoke coming out of the roof and I called 911," he said. "By the time the Fire Department got there, it was cooking pretty good."

Mayhew said he believed that the residents were in the process of moving out. He noticed a truck being used to move items over the last two or three days, he said.

Another neighbor, Liz Elcewicz, smelled what she thought was an electrical short when she got out of the shower Tuesday afternoon.

"I was looking behind the microwave, the fridge," to see whether something was burning, she said.

Other nearby neighbors also thought their homes were on fire.

"I thought it was me on fire," said a man who lived across the street who asked not to be identified. "I thought it smelled like an electrical fire.

"It's a very distinct smell," he added, noting that he has done electrical work in the past.

No one was home when the fire broke out, and no injuries were reported in extinguishing it, Cyr said.

He noted that because of Tuesday's high temperatures, the possibility of heat exhaustion among his 14 firefighters was a concern. But firefighter teams rotated in and out of the structure, and during their off time stripped off their heavy gear and stood underneath a tree for shade, drinking water to cool down.

There was no obvious cause of the fire, and with so much damage, pinpointing its origin may be tough, Cyr said.

To get water to the scene, a fire hose was run from the corner of Blue Hill East and Finson Road, across Finson Road and into the trailer park, temporarily closing Finson Road.

The fire hydrant was 900 feet away, Cyr said.

"That's why we carry 1,000 feet of 4-inch hose on each engine," he said.

Copyright 2010 Bangor Daily News

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