Fort man escapes burning building

15 years ago
By Kathy McCarty
Staff Writer

    FORT FAIRFIELD – A local man escaped a blaze a Presque Isle Rd. building Dec. 16 thanks to the quick actions of a passerby.
    The Fort Fairfield Fire Department was notified around 4 p.m. Wednesday of a structure fire at 277 Presque Isle Rd. 

    Firefighters from three communities spent the next eight hours extinguishing the blaze that nearly claimed the life of Roger York, the owner of the building that housed his business, Roger’s Auto Repair.
    York reportedly lived in an adjacent building and was home napping when the fire broke out. An unidentified passerby is being credited with spotting the fire. The individual stopped, went inside and found York asleep. York was awakened and both got out safely.
    Fort Fairfield Fire Chief Paul Durepo indicated the building did not have smoke detectors. Crews from the Presque Isle and Limestone fire departments responded to assist Fort Fairfield firefighters at the scene.
    According to Durepo, when crews arrived, the roof had collapsed and fire was coming out the doors and windows. Unable to enter the structure, firefighters tackled the blaze from the exterior.
    Sub-zero temperatures and wind chill made fighting the fire difficult. Crews were on site until midnight but were unable to save the building. The structure, valued at $15,000, was not insured. York is reportedly staying with a relative.
    The cause of the fire is under investigation.