News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, October 10, 2013
Firefighters keep Pleasant St. structure fire from consuming neighborhood

More than 50 firefighters helped fight a fire

More than 50 firefighters from Blue Hill, Brooklin, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry helped fight a fire that ultimately leveled a barn at the Pleasant Street home of Blaise deSibour and Leslie Clapp on Sunday, October 6. The fire melted some vinyl siding at the parsonage of the First Baptist Church, but the emergency crews were able to hold it back before it spread to the nearby buildings.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Clapp

by Faith DeAmbrose

A structure fire leveled a three-story barn at the Pleasant Street home of Blaise deSibour and Leslie Clapp in the afternoon hours of Sunday, October 6. More than 50 firefighters from Blue Hill, Brooklin, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry responded, and while they were unable to save the structure, they kept the fire from spreading to nearby buildings—including the main house and the Baptist Church parsonage.

The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. and among the first to arrive was Blue Hill’s Rick Bannister with Engine 8. Firefighters rotated water from tanker trucks at the scene until a four-inch line could be laid across Main Street to the fire dam at the Mill Brook, said Blue Hill Fire Chief Denny Robertson.

DeSibour, also a longtime Blue Hill firefighter, donned his turnout gear and helped to fight the fire—which had fully engulfed the barn by the time the first trucks arrived on scene.

The fire began in the southeast corner of the basement, said Robertson, and quickly consumed the structure which dropped down into the basement as it weakened. The north side of the roof had been covered with large solar panels, and those were also destroyed by the fire, collapsing inward. The actual cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

The heat from the fire was intense, said Robertson, but was initially absorbed by the many trees on the property. Robertson said this likely helped to save deSibour’s house from catching fire although it likely killed a number of trees. The heat did cause the vinyl siding on the north wall of the parsonage to melt, said Robertson.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m., deSibour brought his excavator up to the front of the property and helped move the debris, allowing the firefighters to spray water and foam (which is essentially a soap product) to fully extinguish the flames.


More than 50 fire fighters from Blue Hill, Brooklin, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry helped fight a fire that ultimately leveled a barn at the Pleasant Street home of Blaise deSibour and Leslie Clapp on Sunday, October 6. The fire melted some vinyl siding at the parsonage of the First Baptist Church, but the emergency crews were able to hold it back before it spread to the nearby buildings. Video by Faith DeAmbrose

Firefighters battle flames on Pleasant Street in Blue Hill

Firefighters battle a blaze at a Pleasant Street property in Blue Hill on Sunday, October 6. The fire consumed a large three-story barn on the property.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose
Firefighter and home owner with partner at Pleasant Street fire

Firefighter and homeowner Blaise deSibour stands with partner Leslie Clapp during a fire at their home on Sunday, October 6. The fire consumed a large three-story barn on the property.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose
Firefighters battle a blaze on Pleasant Street in Blue Hill

Firefighters battle a blaze on Pleasant Street in Blue Hill on Sunday, October 6. The fire occurred at a barn at the Pleasant Street home of Blaise deSibour and Leslie Clapp.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Clapp
Firefighters enter the rubble

Firefighters enter the rubble to ensure the flames are extinguished.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Clapp
More than 50 firefighters helped fight a fire

More than 50 firefighters from Blue Hill, Brooklin, Penobscot, Sedgwick and Surry helped fight a fire that ultimately leveled a barn at the Pleasant Street home of Blaise deSibour and Leslie Clapp on Sunday, October 6. The fire melted some vinyl siding at the parsonage of the First Baptist Church, but the emergency crews were able to hold it back before it spread to the nearby buildings.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Clapp
Flames, reaching up to 25 feet high

Flames, reaching up to 25 feet high, along with a thick cloud of black smoke were seen early on billowing high above town.

Photo courtesy of Butler Smythe
Mounting an attack from the north side of the barn

Mounting an attack from the north side of the barn, a firefighter attempts to keep the flames and heat from further damaging nearby property.

Photo by Faith DeAmbrose