No in­juries in huge Beebe fire

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

Three of the seven apart­ments in this com­plex on Junc­tion Street were com­pletely de­stroyed in last Fri­day’s blaze that brought out an in­ter­na­tional team of fire­fight­ers from three dif­fer­ent towns.

Thirty- six fire­fight­ers from three dif­fer­ent Fire De­part­ments re­sponded to a fire in the Beebe sec­tor of Stanstead on Fri­day morn­ing. “We had twenty-five of our own, six from Stanstead Town­ship, and five fire­fight­ers from Ver­mont,” said Chris Good­sell, the Stanstead Fire Chief. Nine fire-trucks were on the scene, five from Stanstead, one from Stanstead Town­ship, and three from Derby Line in­clud­ing a lad­der truck which was needed for the job, of the fire that broke out in an old apart­ment com­plex on Junc­tion Street that housed seven apart­ments.

“The call came in at 9:01 in the morn­ing and we were for­tu­nate that one of our guys was two doors down at the gas sta­tion. He sized up the sit­u­a­tion right away which al­lowed us to co­or­di­nate our re­sponse ac­cord­ingly, then he pro­ceeded to evac­u­ate a num­ber of peo­ple who were still inside, some sleep­ing. Thank­fully there were no in­juries,” said Mr. Good­sell. About five peo­ple were evac­u­ated.

“It was a stub­born fire be­cause the build­ing was quite old and it had a dif­fi­cult lay­out. It was very hard to nav­i­gate through the smoke to get to the dif­fer­ent apart­ments, some of which had two floors. We were there un­til 5:00 pm putting out the fire, and then we mon­i­tored it through the night to make sure noth­ing reignited.”

The fire broke out on the first floor of the build­ing and de­stroyed three apart­ments and dam­aged two oth­ers. Two of the apart­ments were com­pletely un­touched. No dam­age was done to neigh­bour­ing build­ings. “We know the point of ori­gin of the fire and based on the in­for­ma­tion we col­lected, it is be­ing ruled ac­ci­den­tal. With sev­eral in­surance com­pa­nies in­volved, we can’t com­ment fur­ther,” said the Fire Chief.

The fire­fight­ers were also able to re­trieve all of the pets in the build­ing, ex­cept for one cat who hid but was found alive the next day. “My crew did a pretty good job. The re­sponse to the fire was quite quick and we worked closely with the other de­part­ments.”

Peo­ple in the com­mu­nity have been col­lect­ing items for those who lost ev­ery­thing in the fire, in­clud­ing the staff at the Stanstead En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre where peo­ple can drop off items through­out the week. This Satur­day, all of the items col­lected will be brought to the Beebe Fire Sta­tion where, be­gin­ning from 9:00 am, those af­fected by the fire can come and choose things they need. In­di­vid­u­als who have items to do­nate can also bring them to the Beebe Fire Sta­tion on Satur­day morn­ing.

“With the hol­i­days com­ing up, I’d like to ask ev­ery­one to take all the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions to have a safe hol­i­day sea­son, and to be care­ful with Christ­mas lights,” con­cluded Mr. Good­sell.

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

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