2018-05-14 / Front Page

Passersby alert sleeping family to fire; all escape without injury

Cause remains under investigation
By TAMMY WELLS
Senior Staff Writer

SPRINGVALE — A resident of a home at 36 Morrison Road that burned to the ground early Saturday is crediting passersby who saw the blaze and pounded on the door for saving his life and the lives of his five family members.

“He saved our lives, there is no doubt in my mind,” said John Pinette on the scene at about 9:30  a.m. Saturday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Sanford Fire Marshal Patrick Cotter said on Monday.

Zach Boutilier said he and his brother, Jase Moneypenny were driving by around 3 a.m. Saturday and saw flames. At first, Boutilier said, he thought was a bonfire, then he and his brother sprang into action when they saw it was much more than that.

“Then I realized it was the house, so I pulled in this guy’s driveway immediately and went up to the door and pounded on it,” Boutilier said  Sunday morning. 

Everyone got out safely.

Pinette said he, his fiancee, Randi Wentworth, and their two young children, ages 2 and 6,  were asleep in the basement apartment while his mother and stepfather, Michelle and Norman Gauthier, were asleep in the main house.

He said he was awakened by the sounds of someone banging on the door. 

Lt. Kristen Hagan said firefighters from Sanford and eight other communities fought the blaze. The bulk of the fire was determined to be out around 4:45 a.m., but firefighters remained at the scene watching for hotspots.

Later Saturday, firefighters combed through the rubble to try and determine the cause of the fire, which Cotter on Monday confirmed started in the garage area.

One of the family’s dogs, a 6-month-old mixed breed tan-colored dog named Bailey remained missing early Sunday. Bailey was wearing a pink zebra collar with a pink heart tag engraved with the owner’s information.

No injuries were reported.

Boutilier said the situation was scary.

On social media, he’s being called a hero.

He said as he ran up to the door, he was thinking of the people inside.

“I’m very happy I could be their hero,” he said.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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