CARIBOU, Maine — A Caribou man suffered severe burns to his face and arms on Sunday night after a fire broke out at 16 Sincock Street. The man was transported by ambulance to the Cary Medical Center, where he was promptly flown to Portland to be treated for his burns. His status was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon. The victims name was not released.
Caribou Fire Chief Scott Susi explained on Monday that the burn victim’s explained that he’d been cooking french fries on the stove when a fire broke out and ravaged the structure, which will most likely be considered a total loss.
The building — albeit fire ravaged — is still standing despite Sunday’s blaze, and Susi credits his firefighters for that fact.
Twenty-five Caribou firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze that started around 9 p.m., fighting against temperatures that were hot enough to melt the solder off the water pipes.
“The crews did a great job, and it was absolutely an incredible stop to be able to save the downstairs apartment,” Susi commented, commending the firefighters. “You have to have good people working and giving it their all to be able to do what they did last night.”
The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen of an occupied upstairs apartment. The building had four apartments, one occupied upstairs and one occupied downstairs.
Both tenants of the downstairs apartment made it out safely; firefighters observed the family dog scratching at a window and were able to break the glass and save the pet, and Chief Susi was able to rescue one of the family’s cats the night of the fire; when the chief checked with the family on Monday morning, the other two cats had returned to the apartment where they safely laid on top of a bed until reunited with their owners.
Assisting the Caribou Fire Department were members of the Washburn Fire Department at the site and members of the Presque Isle Fire Department covering Caribou’s station.
“To have had fire pumping out that back window from the kitchen and to have that building still standing — the crews did an outstanding job,” Susi added. “It was hot, it was a lot of work and it was a good stop on their part.”
The building owner resides in Florida, through a name was unable to be obtained at time of print.