RANGELEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Firefighters from Maine are back home after an intense and dangerous weekend battling the huge oil train fire in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Eight fire departments from Franklin County sent crews to fight the flames that destroyed a six block area of the downtown, and claimed the lives of an unknown number of people.
Rangeley was one of the departments that answered the pre-dawn alarm on Saturday, and made the two-hour trip into Quebec. Veteran members of the department say the fire was unlike anything they'd ever experienced.
They say that small town needed all the help they could bring to save what's left of the downtown. " And this stretched from left to right in your whole peripheral vision, " said Fire Chief Tim Pellerin. "It was an overwhelming, incredible sight, hard to grasp and say where to begin. It wasn't one building on fire , 39 buildings were on fire, six city blocks."
Rangeley sent two trucks and about ten firefighters. Seven other Franklin County departments also sent trucks and volunteers to Lac Megantic.
The Rangeley crew said they pumped water for 21 hours straight, feeding other trucks and hose crews, and also spraying water from their ladder truck on tank cars to keep the fire from spreading. The Rangeley firefighters said the Canadians were very grateful for the help, and said they were given big hugs before heading home to Maine.