OXFORD — A Norway firefighter fell through a floor while searching for possible occupants in a burning home Wednesday night on Pottle Road, officials said.

Norway Fire Chief Dennis Yates said Thursday that his wife, Christine, fell through the fire-damaged floor and was not able to move while straddling a floor joist. She is a captain with the department.

She immediately used her radio to make a mayday call, Yates said. To make matters more complicated, her air supply tank ran out while she was stuck. Yates said the on-site Rapid Intervention Team was able to locate her through the smoke and get her out in about five minutes. 

She suffered some smoke inhalation, was treated at a local hospital and released in good condition.

“The RIT team is primarily there to save us if we get in trouble,” Yates said. “And they did a great job.”

There was no one in the home when the fire erupted. It is owned by Shannon Wiacek.

The Oxford Fire Department received the initial call at 8:55 p.m. Wednesday and, minutes after 9 p.m., the single-family mobile home at 70 Pottle Road was fully engulfed in flames. No one was home at the time.

A team from the state Fire Marshal’s Office was at the residence Thursday investigating the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters from Oxford, Paris, Norway and Poland responded to the call, and additional crews from Mechanic Falls, West Paris and Harrison were sent to assist with the blaze. Central Maine Power cut electricity to the building. 

Oxford Fire Chief Wayne Jones described the damage as extensive.

Fire officials have not been able to determine whether the home had working smoke detectors at the time of the fire, according to a news release from Jones.



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