Joel Barnes, Captain

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Captain Joel Barnes was one of five firefighters who went into a three-story apartment building to fight a four-alarm fire. While inside the structure, conditions rapidly worsened. Three of the firefighters were able to escape. Barnes and one other firefighter became trapped in a room of a third-floor apartment. While waiting to be rescued, Barnes reportedly used his body to shield the other firefighter from the intense fire. Upon rescue, Barnes was unresponsive, and EMTs and other colleagues immediately performed life-saving measures on him. Barnes was then transported to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital where he was pronounced deceased from the injuries he sustained. The four other firefighters were treated and released by Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.

Incident Location: 10 Bell Street, Berwick, Maine (U.S. National Grid: 19T CH 48587 92451 (DD: 43.269, -70.865))

Department information

Berwick Fire Department
10 School Street
Berwick, Maine 03901

Chief: Dennis Plante

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

Age: 32
Rank: Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: March 1, 2019 11:00
Date of death: March 1, 2019
Cause of death: Unknown
Nature of death: Unknown
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential