Rescue in Portland

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PORTLAND >> Two people are recovering and a local firefighter was treated for injuries after a house fire late Sunday night, but the town’s fire chief says the outcome would have been much different if not for a quick rescue by that firefighter.

Firefighter Pete Sulinski lives within a half-mile of the fire scene at 26 Tuccitto Road, a tiny Cape built in 1954 located off Route 66, and was one of the first people on the scene of the reported basement fire around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Chief Robert Shea said in a phone interview Tuesday.

When he arrived, Sulinski was confronted by a “panicked” man who told him that a woman had gone back into the house and had not come out. Sulinski rushed into the house without his protective gear and quickly grabbed the woman, who had collapsed on a staircase leading to the home’s basement.

Shea said his firefighters are careful but “when there’s a life at risk, my guys are going to do just about anything,” to save the person.

The fire itself was not that large, but Shea said it generated a great deal of smoke and heat. The woman who was rescued was sent to Middlesex Hospital for treatment.

The man who was outside was sent to Bridgeport Hospital for treatment. Their identities and conditions were not immediately available.

Shea said the fire likely started on a bed in the basement, which was “considerably” burned. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

He commended Sulinski for the rescue, saying that the rescue was the most important part of Sunday night’s effort.

“He did a great job, that’s what we’re there for,” he said. “Property can be replaced, people can’t. It kind of gives you a shot of adrenaline and gets the other guys thinking about what they’re here for.”

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