*Updates number of tenants in building, and condition of fire fighter*
All 24 tenants in a 12 unit apartment building on Ohio Street in Bangor are homeless tonight after an Monday morning fire.
Fire crews got there within minutes, but say it could have been worse.
People outside saw the flames and were able to let everyone inside know they needed to get out like Lindsay Albert who lives in a third floor apartment.
“I was in the living room with my son and we were just playing and heard a lady screaming out in our parking lot and I went out on my deck and looked over to my left to my neighbor’s apartment and the flames and smoke were shooting out of her porch doors, so I ran outside and by the time I got outside, I could see smoke coming out of our building.”
“All I heard was fire trucks and all kinds of racket going on,” said Nicole O’Clair who lives in the building next to the one that caught fire. “We came out and the middle part of the building was totally engulfed in flames.”
Bangor Assistant Fire Chief Tom Higgins said the smoke detectors worked and so did the word of mouth to get everyone out. “There was one small baby that was in the building that the mother did a great job in getting the baby out.”
“As soon as I got outside,” Albert said. “I could see smoke had started to come out of my apartment building and for the lady next to me, her apartment was completely engulfed, and within ten minutes our whole third floor was engulfed in flames.”
“There was one tenant that was pretty concerned about her sister,” said Assistant Chief Higgins. “They confirmed that she is at work.”
“By the time I got outside,” said Albert. “Smoke was coming out of mine so it wasn’t very long.”
“We had a tremendous response,” said Assistant Chief Higgins. “I have not looked at the times, but I would suspect that we were on scene, probably three minutes of getting the call, and that makes a huge difference as fire can double in size every thirty seconds and so to be able to do this is a huge thing.”
“Your heart goes out to one another,” said O’Clair. “There is a couple here that has a baby. We helped them out, gave them a pack and play and stuff like that, you know you just love one another.”
Albert summed up the thoughts of many who lived there, were fighting the fire, or just stopped by “Just glad everyone’s out and okay.”
One firefighter was taken to the hospital, he was treated and released for dehydration, and returned to work after about two hours.
Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office were on the looking for a cause just after the flames were put out, they are expected to release a cause no later than Tuesday.
The Red Cross was notified and is helping the families displaced by the fire.
If you would like to support local disaster relief, please send your gift to the American Red Cross of Maine, 145 Exchange Street, Suite 1, Bangor 04401.