Family escapes flames

May 08, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A teen-ager, his mother and his uncle escaped injury when a fire erupted Friday afternoon in their upper-floor apartment in a two-story house in Westminster.

Westminster Fire Chief Jay Nusbaum said the fire, which was contained mostly to one room, was under control in about 15 minutes, but the entire second floor suffered extensive heat and water damage.

The cause of the blaze was not yet determined, fire officials said.

Eric Ward, 16, said he was descending stairs to leave the wood-frame house just before 4:30 p.m. when he heard his mother, Sandy Hansen, screaming his name from the second floor.

Eric said he ran upstairs and saw his uncle, William Hansen-Grace, who shouted that the teen's room was on fire. The three ran down the stairs and out the front door.

A motorist who was driving by the house in the first block of E. Green St. called 911.

Volunteer firefighters responding from the Westminster station, a block away, could see the rolling smoke, fanned by winds from the south. Reese and Pleasant Valley firefighters and the Manchester rescue squad also were dispatched.

Spectators attracted by engines rushing through downtown saw flames shooting from a second-floor bedroom window.

Some firefighters fought the flames from inside the dwelling while others cut holes in the roof to ventilate the building.

Ms. Hansen was taken to Carroll County General Hospital after she became upset while watching the fire damage her home. She later was released.

The occupants of the first floor, a woman and two small children, were not home when the fire was discovered, a neighbor said.

About 45 firefighters from the four stations remained at the scene for more than two hours.

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