Couple homeless as fire near wood stove destroys trailer

Two people are homeless after the Pinkham Road trailer they lived in caught fire Saturday afternoon.

The two homeowners – Betty and Richard White – were away when a fire started in the vicinity of their wood stove.

Pittston Fire Chief Jason Farris said the Whites were spending the winter in the camper, which had a wooden shell built around it, since the house on their Pinkham Road property isn’t insulated.

The fire started around 2:45 p.m., and neighbors who noticed it evacuated two dogs from the building.

A bird that the Whites had owned for 21 years perished.

The heaviest damage was around the wood stove, Farris said, and the fire also spread to a few cars parked next to the structure.

Firefighters from several surrounding towns joined Pittston firefighters at the property off Route 226.

They contained the blaze within 10 minutes, Farris said.


Woman, 71, flown to Boston for burn treatment after fire

A 71-year-old woman suffered serious injuries Friday in a fire that destroyed a house on Cheri Lane.

Nina Tyutyunnyk suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation in the Friday afternoon blaze after she reentered the house multiple times to retrieve money and personal items, according to Steve McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Tyutyunnyk is receiving treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she was flown by helicopter.

The house belongs to Tyutyunnyk’s daughter and son-in-law, Ludmilla and Mark Serone. While they weren’t home at the time of the blaze, their three children were. Two of them were outside at the time, and one of the elder children rescued the youngest, a 2-year-old.


Investigators look for cause of house fire that killed man

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of an early morning fire that killed a man and injured three other people.

The fire started around 5:30 a.m. Saturday at a home at 403 Day Road. A 64-year-old man died in the blaze. His name was not released.

Three others were injured, including Noufissa Bernikhow, 49; Yahya Daghmoumi, 28; and Soadia Gusha, 51, who suffered smoke inhalation. Bernikhow and Daghmoumi were treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and released.

Gusha, the homeowner, was in serious condition at the hospital.

Sgt. Joel Davis, a supervisor at the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire appears to have started in the man’s bedroom, which he was renting from Gusha.


Drug programs get $160,000 from $1.1 million drug seizure

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency awarded nearly $160,000 to four programs aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse.

Maine DEA Director Roy McKinney says the funding comes from $1.1 million that was forfeited in a federal drug-smuggling ring case that Maine drug agents helped break up in 2004.

The two biggest chunks of money are going to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department for its prescription drug collection and disposal program, and the People’s Regional Opportunity Program’s project to reduce prescription drug abuse in western Cumberland County.

York Hospital and the Maine Judicial Branch are receiving smaller amounts for drug-prevention efforts.


Man, 50, with multiple stab wounds, in critical condition

A 50-year-old man who was found in his bathtub with multiple stab wounds early Friday morning remained in critical condition as of late Saturday night, according to a nursing supervisor at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Dale Berube, 50, was stabbed late Thursday night inside his apartment at 25 Thornton Ave. in Saco. A 911 call was received about 12:30 a.m. Friday morning requesting an ambulance for Berube. When rescue and Saco Police arrived, Berube was in his bathtub with several stab wounds. He underwent emergency surgery at the hospital.

State Police say Berube’s roommate, Pamela Young, 48, made the 911 call. She was interviewed by police and was released.

“We are still trying to sort out exactly what happened,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. “Hopefully his condition will improve enough so he can help us answer some questions.”


Baldacci thanks Mainers for aiding neighbors in need

Maine’s governor wished people across the state a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

In his weekly radio address, Gov. John Baldacci called this a time of traditions and cherishing those around us. The governor says that across Maine, individuals and groups collected warm clothes, food and toys, trying to help their neighbors have a better holiday.

In the Republican response, Senate President Kevin Raye of Perry says an example of Christmas generosity is Worcester Wreath Co.’s annual delivery of wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery.


Police seek man who robbed Pine Street convenience store

Portland police are searching for a man who robbed a Cumberland Farms store Saturday night.

Police say a man entered the store at 49 Pine St. around 8:25 p.m. and demanded cash.

Lt. Scott Pelletier said the suspect threatened the store clerk, but never showed a weapon. He said the suspect then fled, heading west on West Street and leaving a trail of money behind. “Some of the money was recovered,” Pelletier said. “It appears to have fallen out of his hands.”

He described the suspect as a white man, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches tall; wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt and black skinny jeans; and with a gray bandana covering his face.

Anyone with information should contact Portland Police at 874-8539.

Woman in fair condition  after two-car crash on I-95

A woman injured Friday in a two-car accident on Interstate 95 in Fairfield was in fair condition Saturday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Priscilla Speed, 69, of Burnham, was one of three people taken to the hospital after a car spun out of control on the highway and hit a sport utility vehicle twice.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, said Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance.

Speed initially was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Waterville, as were Alton Varney, 41, of Burnham, and his 13-year-old daughter Arica Varney.

The Varneys’ injuries were minor, Perkins-Vance said.


Cause of Saturday night fire on Mast Road investigated

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that occurred Saturday night on Mast Road.

A dispatcher for the Sanford Regional Communications Center said the fire broke out around 8 p.m. at 1138 Mast Road. The Alfred Fire Department responded to the scene and had extinguished the blaze by 10:30 p.m.

No further details were provided.