NORWICH – The City of Norwich Fire Department saved the life of a local resident trapped in a potentially deadly fire last Saturday.
First Assistant Chief Jan Papelino said City of Norwich Fire Department Engine Four and the accompanying ambulance were in the right place at the right time on Dec. 20, when a work shed fire was reported at 2:32 p.m.
“In a fire, time can make a huge difference in the outcome, in whether or not it's a life or death situation. Time is everything,” said Papelino.
The fire engine and ambulance were leaving a medical call and driving down County Road 34 on route back to the station, when the emergency call came in. “They had just left a call for a female with an obstructed airway, but they ended up not having to transfer her. They happened to be close to the location of the fire on County Road 33,” said Papelino.
The fire had started in a work shed near a mobile home residence located at 341 County Rd. 33 in Norwich. According to Papelino, Mark Hitchcock and his son, Ethan Hitchcock, were working on a lawn tractor in the shed, when the gas line off the carburetor was pulled and began leaking gas. The gas spilled out onto the floor near a kerosine heater they had going in the center of the shed.