January 11, 2013

14 displaced by fire at Augusta apartment

Staff video by Andy Molloy

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Augusta firefighters work on a ladder truck in front of an apartment building that burned Thursday on Sewall Street in Augusta.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

Additional Photos Below

"I was scared until I found out everyone got out OK," Carr said.

The 2002 fire at 55 Sewall St. started in a basement and spread to each of the three stories, stranding one woman on a second-story fire escape until she was rescued, according to Kennebec Journal archives. That fire left nine tenants homeless, and the building, which was insured, was later renovated. Damage at that time was estimated at $70,000.

"That one wasn't as bad," said Laurier Brunelle, who bought the building in 1998.

Brunelle, who stood on the sidewalk hugging his wife, Teresa, said he had spoken to each of his tenants.

"I know they're all out -- that's the main thing," he said. "I think they all have places to go. They're all upset, of course. It's an awful thing for everyone."

Smith said she could stay with her daughter and was waiting for her to arrive.

"It's pretty devastating," she said.

Moments later, her daughter approached and Smith rushed to her. Setting down her safe, the women embraced each other tightly. They cried.

"It's OK, Mom," her daughter said. "It's OK."

Craig Crosby -- 621-5642
ccrosby@centralmaine.com

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Additional Photos

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HOT TOP: An Augusta firefighter ducks beneath flames emerging from the third floor deck of an apartment building that burned Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, on Sewall Street. Departments from several towns responded to the fire, which was reported around noon. The blaze caused severe damage to the building, located across from St. Michael School, and forced the 14 residents living there to seek shelter through the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

click image to enlarge

A six-unit apartment building at 55 Sewall St., Augusta, caught fire Thursday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Cassie Chase

click image to enlarge

A six-unit apartment building at 55 Sewall St., Augusta, caught fire Thursday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Cassie Chase

click image to enlarge

Photo courtesy of Cassie Chase

click image to enlarge

Photo courtesy of Cassie Chase

click image to enlarge

Photo courtesy of Cassie Chase Firefighters battle a blaze Thursday afternoon at 55 Sewall St., Augusta, near St. Michael School.



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