No injuries in huge Beebe fire
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.