RUMFORD — An overnight fire that spread to three apartment buildings forced several people to jump from a building and sent six people to the hospital.

A fire on Hancock Street in Rumford tore through several buildings late Sunday night. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The fire was reported at about 11 p.m. at 105 Hancock, where several apartment houses sit close together between Rumford and Maine avenues.

Just before midnight, it was reported that two of the buildings had collapsed. At about 12:30 a.m., a third went down, according to witnesses. Onlookers at the scene said the fire spread fast after the first flames had appeared.

Rumford Police Chief Tony Milligan said multiple people jumped from the second and third floor of the building.

“That was their only option. There was no escape other than to jump,” he said.

A third apartment building also caught fire but was unoccupied, police said. Six people were taken to the hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation and injuries from jumping from the building.

The three apartment buildings are a total loss, police said.

A fire on Hancock Street in Rumford tore through several buildings late Sunday night. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Dispatchers were calling for all available firefighters to respond to the Rumford Fire Station for coverage as the blaze was being fought.

Rumford fire is called for mutual aid from area towns including Bethel, Stoneham, Greenwood and Woodstock.

Central Maine Power was called to cut power to the area. Electricity remained out for the entire grid for about an hour before power was turned back on.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene and was expected to begin investigating once the blaze was under control.

At least one area business was already stepping up to help victims of the blaze early Monday morning. Kevin Jamison, manager of Aubuchon Hardware in Rumford said his store would begin collecting donations to help those displaced by the fire.

Several buildings burned Sunday night on Hancock Street in Rumford. Submitted by Aimee Elizabeth

“I want them to know we are with them and they are (in) our thoughts,” Jamison wrote in a Facebook post. “We will stay River Valley strong tonight!”

Jamison also opened the store for victims and firefighters who needed to get out of the cold.

At about 1:30 a.m., a woman who lives near the fire scene said the blaze appeared to be under control and that she was told all tenants were accounted for.

The Associated Press contributed information. This story will be updated.

This photo, taken by a nearby resident, shows a fire on Hancock Street in Rumford that has spread to multiple buildings Sunday night. Photo contributed by Sue Hutchinson Frost

 


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