January 28, 2021

Fire puts family of 5 in a bind

A Bangor family with three children could find itself homeless on Christmas Eve.

When fire damaged their Newberry Street apartment Friday, Joe Getchell and Kathy Marquis found temporary shelter at the Red Carpet Inn in Bangor. The stay, which was arranged by the Red Cross, will expire Dec. 24.

“We haven’t decided what to do yet,” said Getchell. “Kathy doesn’t have any relatives closer than Livermore.”

When the fire started just before 10 a.m., Marquis was at home with two of her three children — Joseph Getchell, 5, and Steven Getchell, 4. She grabbed the kids and dashed for the street.

None of the family members was injured. The elder Getchell wasn’t home, and 7-year-old Joshua Marquis was at school.

The fire started in faulty wiring in the first-floor bathroom, according to Lt. William Leighton of the Bangor Fire Department. It quickly spread to the unoccupied second floor and attic of the house.

Leighton said the fire was brought under control in 20 minutes. Damage was minimal, but code enforcement officers shuttered the house until repairs can be made.

“There’s no way they will be back in the house in seven days,” he said.

The owner of the house is an elderly woman who lives in a Georgia nursing home, according to Leighton.

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