Residents of burned OOB home speak about tragedy
OLD ORCHARD BEACH (WGME) -- Residents of 9 Cascade Drive in Old Orchard Beach spent Sunday cleaning up from a fire that consumed the apartment complex.
"It just picked up right away. It just suddenly started shooting flames up into the sky," said Joseph Mahoney, who lives at the complex with his wife.
He says he was watching the Red Sox game around 9 p.m. when he heard a bang on the door.
"Before I could even open the door, firefighters used that big battering ram to break the door down. Next thing I know they were grabbing me and telling me to get out of here," he said.
Fire officials say the two-alarm fire consumed the roof of the building, and spread from the front to the back of the complex. They say the fire closed down Cascade Drive for multiple hours while crews continued to fight the fire.
"I just kept hoping that it would stop before it got to my unit," said Mahoney.
"Sirens going like crazy for a long time, there was just so many people," said Patricia McCullen, an Old Orchard Beach resident who heard the first responders heading to the scene.
She says that she and many other neighbors feel awful for the residents of the complex.
"Where do they go? How do they pick up and move on? It's something I can't fathom," she said.
The Red Cross came to assist the more than 8 Mainers who no longer have a place to live. Residents say that they were given money to be able to go to a hotel and sleep.
"The response from neighbors has been very kind," said Mahoney.
He says he never imagined something like this would ever happen.
"I've seen fires on TV... in Portland you see them just standing on the streets... You feel bad but you just turn the channel, and that's it. Now as a victim, I feel different," he said.
Fire officials say the fire is still under investigation