LODD: Captain Succumbs to Injuries Sustained While Operating at a Four-Alarm Fire

Berwick, Maine:

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Captain Joel Barnes of the Berwick Fire Department. Shortly after the first arriving companies got on scene a Mayday was transmitted. No other information was released about circumstances leading up to the Mayday and subsequent death of the Captain. Four other firefighters were injured and were treated and released from a local hospital. We ask that you pray for the family of fallen brother Captain Joel Barnes, as well as for all of the members of the Berwick Fire Department. NBC News Center in Main Reported;

“BERWICK, Maine — A Berwick fire captain died Friday from injuries he suffered fighting a four-alarm blaze at an apartment building in Berwick.

Fire officials were visibly shaken and mournful during an information briefing as Maine’s state fire marshal, Joe Thomas, his voice cracking, identified the victim from the fire as Capt. Joel Barnes of the Berwick Fire Department. “Though this is what we do all the time,” Thomas said. “For everyone of us in the fire service — when we lose one of our own, it’s a difficult time.” 

In total, more than 16 fire departments from Maine and New Hampshire responded to the March 1 fire at 10 Bell St., according to Tim Wilder, assistant fire chief for the Rochester Fire Department in New Hampshire. Seven fire crews from Maine, 10 from New Hampshire and multiple EMS units assisted.

The fire was first reported at about 11 a.m. at which time Berwick fire and police responded. A second alarm was called at 11:03 a.m., a third at 11:14 a.m. and a fourth and final at 11:31 a.m., convening 50-75 firefighters at the scene.

Asst. Chief Wilder said all of the residents inside of the building at the time of the fire got out safe. Four other firefighters were treated at Wentworth Douglas Hospital in Dover for injuries Friday and were subsequently released.

When asked whether Barnes was one of two firefighters reportedly trapped inside the burning building early on in the fire fight, Wilder confirmed that a mayday call was declared only minutes into the first crews arriving at the scene, but did not comment on specific details about what had happened inside.”


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