Two residents of a Portland, Maine apartment building were hospitalized following a fire yesterday afternoon. One of those people was rescued by a neighbor from the first floor apartment where the fire started.
A man, who was uninjured, came down by ladder raised by firefighters after he escaped to the roof from his top floor unit.
Smoke alarms went off and tenants reported the fire around 3 p.m. in the 13-unit historic brick house at 264 State St., said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Wassick.
The blaze started in a first-floor apartment, where fire, smoke and water damage was severe, Wassick said. The cause is under investigation.
Francois Agwala, who lives on the third floor, said he smelled something burning in his building but never saw any flames. He took refuge from the smoke on a small balcony on the third floor, and that’s where firefighters found him when they arrived.
Wassick said firefighters made contact with Agwala and eventually helped bring him down on a ladder.
“There was a lot of smoke coming out of the third floor,” Wassick said.
One of the tenants says she smelled smoke in the hallway and new it was coming from her neighbor's kitchen.
"My boyfriend busted the door in and dragged her out of the apartment and called the fire department," says Ronica Leland.
The woman in the apartment was unconscious.
She was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
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