Wind off the water delays containment of Washington house fire

Tue, 11/08/2022 - 10:00pm

    WASHINGTON — A long time member of the Washington Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary spent years helping to raise funds for new equipment not covered by the budget. On Tuesday, that equipment came to her house, and not as a courtesy call.

    At approximately 6:15 p.m., Nov. 8, 2022, Pat Medeika sat watching television on the first floor of her two-story house when she began hearing noises upstairs. Her cats are known for thumping around, so Medeika wasn’t concerned. Yet, curiosity got to her and she looked into a bedroom to see what items the felines had knocked to the floor. Instead of disarray, Medeika found fire coming from a wall. She then looked in the garage and the garage was on fire.

    Medeika was not injured, though she lost her slippers as she fled the house. However, she was still able to alert 911 through a medical pendant.

    At 6:20 p.m., Washington FD and their mutual aid towns of Liberty, Somerville, Jefferson, and Union, received the report of a structure fire at house number 33, at the end of Medeika Lane, which is a short, unpaved road at the water’s edge. Several of the trucks were ordered to stay on Route 105, requiring some firefighters to clonk their heavy turnout gear along the longer Steele Lane, which branches onto the one created and built upon by Medeika’s father in law.

    Firefighters encountered a structure fire that was well involved along the front of the house, and extending out into the yard, according to Washington Fire Chief Phil Meunier .

    Medeika and the neighbor who opened her door and loaned a pair of slippers expressed fortune that the camp road was better maintained and more accessible than others.

    Yet, what wasn’t in anyone’s favor was a particular environmental factor of the evening:

    “The wind has made it a nightmare,” said Washington Fire Chief Phil Meunier.

    For more than an hour, the wind off of Washington Pond pushed the flames into the house, delaying the final extinguish. Yet, they worked on, communicating well with each other, despite their different agencies.

    “We’ve got a great mutual aid crew,” he said. “And we work really, really well together.”

    That crew assisted with pumping water from Washington Pond as well as driving back and forth from a pond behind the fire station.

    A call has been placed to the Maine Fire Marshal’s Office, though Meunier doesn’t see anything suspicious.

    The house is a total loss.

    The last remaining firefighters left the scene just prior to 10 p.m.


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