On February 28, 2023, the Rochester Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 8 Old Wakefield Street. Upon arrival, the attached garage of the 2.5-story single-family home was fully involved and extending into the breezeway.
Frisbie EMS was called to asses two patients suffering from smoke inhalation while attempting to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher. Neither patient was transported. Mutual aid was provided by Milton, Somersworth, Dover, Berwick, and Lebanon, Maine.
Due to quick thinking, the homeowner thought to close the door between the occupied portion of the home and the breezeway before evacuating, and the fire was contained to only the unoccupied portions of the home.
According to Deputy Chief Adam Hughes, “closing a door acts as a protective barrier and limits the oxygen that a fire consumes which can prevent or slow a fire from extending into other areas.”
“In this case, it allowed the occupants more time to safely evacuate their home and limit the damage,” said Hughes. “This single act by the homeowner was significant in limiting the damage. It allowed them to remain in their home even after the fire was extinguished.”
At the time of the initial report, the Rochester Fire Department was celebrating the retirement of Firefighter Patrick Couch. The fire at 8 Old Wakefield street was Firefighter Couch’s last fire, capping off 33 years of fire service with the Rochester Fire Department.