Jackie Farwell, of the News Staff - DEXTER - A baby was hospitalized Sunday morning after a fire near its bedroom in a Liberty Street home left three others stranded on a second-story roof.Firefighters rescued the baby from its crib through a second-story window after a man, woman and another child managed to escape to the roof at about 7:45 a.m., according to Melvin Wyman, Dexter fire chief.
"[The baby] was breathing," but covered in dark soot, Wyman said Sunday. "We were very concerned."
The baby and the man were treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and later released, according to fire officials.
Wyman could not provide the names of the four tenants or the house's street address Sunday. The fire started in a second-story bedroom that the man tried to re-enter through a window in order to save the baby, Wyman said. "Smoke was heavily coming out that window," he said. Minutes later, fire crews arrived and hoisted a ladder to the second-story window. A firefighter reached through the broken glass, found the crib and pulled out a life-sized doll he initially thought to be the child, Wyman said. "He thought it was [the baby]. That really bothered him," he said.
The baby, who is less than a year old, was pulled out seconds later and passed down the ladder to a paramedic, Wyman said. The cause of the fire was not released Sunday, as the state fire marshal's office continued its investigation, according to fire officials.
The house, which was rented by the occupants, was heavily damaged by smoke and water but not destroyed, Wyman said. "The bulk of the fire was on the second floor," he said. "It's going to need a lot of repair."
Two pet birds and a kitten also were rescued from the fire, which was reported Sunday morning by several neighbors, the fire chief said. "[The kitten] had a little bit of singed hair on his paws," he said.
Six Dexter firefighters were the first to arrive on scene Sunday, followed by crews from Corinna and Dover-Foxcroft, Wyman said. A quick response time - three to five minutes after the fire was reported - saved lives Sunday, the fire chief said.
"If it hadn't been for those first six firefighters arriving on scene, I'm sure there would have been a fatality," Wyman said.
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