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Fire in Richmond closes Route 201

The fire started on Wednesday afternoon, officials say.

RICHMOND, Maine — Neighbors and a crew from Central Maine Power helped save the life of a woman whose house erupted in flames Wednesday afternoon.

Ed Luebbert and Martin Naas were among five neighbors who saw heavy smoke coming from the house on Loon Drive and called 911.

"Marty came bursting into the house and said the house was on fire," Leubbert said. "We were watching it and all of a sudden we realized there was actually somebody that was stuck in the house ... the lady was stuck up on the second floor, kind of hanging out of the window."

The woman's adult son had run to get a ladder, Naas said, so they worked together to encourage her to get out onto the ladder.

"The flames were literally lapping at her feet as she was trying to get out on a little piece of roof under the window to get on the ladder," Naas said.

Leubbert said the woman was injured with "quite a few burns" when she was taken from the scene by ambulance.

Gardiner Fire Chief Richard Sieberg said the woman, whose name he did not disclose, is lucky things weren't worse, particularly with strong winds and a high fire danger.

"They saved her life. No questions about it," Sieberg said.

The house was completely destroyed. It was the second major house fire in Richmond in two days.

"With the dry weather and the weather and the wind just be careful with outside burning," Sieberg said. "It's definitely something to think about." 

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire.

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