It was hot last week, and way too hot for the many families affected by three major fires.
But cheers to the many people, some of them neighbors, who made sure no lives were lost.
Three teens visiting from Germany and several other passersby acted quickly early Sunday morning when they saw smoke pouring from a burning building at Auburn Mall Apartments.
"We have to do it. We don't feel like heroes," said Thomas Penshow, who called 911 after his sons and a friend, along with a man who was on his way to Lowes to buy lumber, ran into the burning building to warn residents.
"We're not allowed to sit there and watch and not do anything," Penshow told the Sun Journal.
Three of the building's 24 apartments sustained significant damage in a fire thought to have been caused by smoking materials left on a porch.
Early Tuesday morning in Rumford disaster was definitely averted when a firefighter joined two paramedics and employed some creative thinking to save a man and two children from a third-floor balcony.
The paramedics could have said "not my job" and simply stood ready to treat the injured, but Jay Morrissette and Ryan Arsenault sprang into action.
A ladder carried by Mexico firefighter Mike Chartier was too short to reach the people, so he scaled a nearby tree, jumped to the burning building and hoisted the ladder up to a porch roof.
From that point, the three men set up the ladder so firefighters could reach the stranded residents.
Lives were saved, no doubt about it, said Mexico Fire Chief Gary Wentzel, who said the balcony was enveloped in smoke minutes later.
Unattended candles, by the way, were blamed for the blaze.
In Lewiston, meanwhile, firefighters worked for hours in "Little Canada" to prevent a fire in a 12-unit, four-story apartment building from spreading to other structures.
Firefighters fought flames, smoke and heat at the fire, which started at 11 a.m. and extended well into the afternoon.
Little Canada is known for its tight streets and large buildings located side by each.
Firefighters worked hard to protect other buildings, but two were damaged by the blaze.
They also pulled several animals from the building to the grateful relief of pet owners.
Three nasty fires and no loss of life. Some would call that a miracle.
But most miracles are the direct result of training, preparation and teamwork combined with a spot of luck.
Fortunately, we saw all of that this week.
Cheers and jeers to Chancellor James Page for arranging the semi-graceful transfer of power at the University of Southern Maine.
First a cheer for selecting Theodora Kalikow to replace Selma Botman as the school's president. Kalikow is a visionary leader with an unparalleled record of accomplishment as former president of the University of Maine at Farmington.
But jeers to Page for creating a new position for Botman in his office having something to do with attracting foreign students and arranging faculty exchanges.
Botman will carry her $203,000 salary into a position that is of questionable value and could easily have been filled for a third of that pay rate.
That's way more than the annual salary of college presidents of the state's community colleges and even more than the man who heads that system, President John Fitzsimmons, who earns $165,452.
This is, of course, the kind of nonsense that makes ordinary working people resentful.
A highly paid person struggles to do their job, takes a lesser position and gets to keep their executive-level salary.
The alternative, however, was likely a buyout or expensive litigation.
This awkward deal may stink, but it may also have been the best of several unsavory options.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.