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Friday, February 24, 2012

Fire Damages Duplex

A family of four escaped uninjured Friday when fire broke out inside their Skehan Lane home.

West Gardiner Fire Chief Chris McLaughlin said the mother and four children who share the home where the fire broke out were outside when firefighters arrived. A woman who lives in the other half of the duplex was still inside when firefighters arrived. Crews escorted her from the home.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal's Office was called to determine the cause of the fire, McLaughlin said. He declined to name the occupants or the building's owner until the investigation is complete. McLaughlin is unsure if the building is insured.

The mother and children—McLaughlin is unsure of the children's ages—are staying with a family member, McLaughlin said.

"There was significant damage to one bedroom where the fire originated," he said. "The contents of that bedroom are a complete loss."

The woman who lives in the other half of the building was allowed to return to her home.

The fire broke out around 8:30 a.m., inside a bedroom in the single-story home at 12 Skehan Lane. Smoke was pouring out the front door when firefighters arrived. Flames were showing inside the bedroom where the fire originated.

McLaughlin said damage was minimized by an early warning provided by the smoke detectors and an aggressive response by firefighters.

Firefighters from Farmingdale, Pittston, Gardiner and Litchfield assisted West Gardiner crews.

"In less than 10 minutes of the first arriving unit we had the fire completely out," McLaughlin said. "The fire department did a great job of containing it to that one room. Most of the contents of the house were salvageable."

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