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Lincoln officer, Woodstock firefighters credited with saving homeowner's life

Special to the Union Leader

December 17. 2013 9:08PM

LINCOLN — A Lincoln police officer and three Woodstock firefighters are being hailed as heroes for saving a Lincoln man from his burning house Friday night.

When the fire marshals visited the scene the next morning, they said the men should be commended for the action they took that night, Lincoln Fire Chief Ronald Beard said. A few minutes later and the victim wouldn't have survived.

Efforts are underway to recognize the men's heroics.

At Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting, Police Chief Ted Smith said he was putting in for a commendation for Officer Jeffrey Meier. The selectmen and Beard will write letters to the Woodstock selectmen and fire chief to recognize the heroic efforts of three members of their department, Andrew Williams, Michael Donahue and Shawn Wood.

The Lincoln Fire Department received a call for a structure fire at 29 School St. at 7:45 p.m. Half of the department was at the town Christmas party at Loon at the time, Beard said.

The house is a single family, two-story residence owned and occupied by Sam Decoursey, Beard said.

Beard said before he even got out of the building, Meier was reporting heavy flames coming from a second-floor window. Dispatch then called out the Woodstock Fire Department for assistance. Campton-Thornton fire rescue was called to cover Woodstock and Franconia to cover Lincoln.

Meanwhile, the sister of Michael Donahue called him and told him she had heard there was a fire.

He and Williams responded, meeting Meier at the scene. They walked around the building to determine if anyone was inside.

When Williams got to the front, he noticed the door partially open and saw an arm. He alerted the other two, who assisted in pulling Decoursey out of the building.

By then, Wood, who is on the Woodstock department but lives in Lincoln, had gone to the scene. He picked Decoursey up and put him over his shoulder, carrying him to the police cruiser to be checked out.

Other than smoke inhalation, Decoursey was unhurt. He was checked out by the ambulance and released to a friend.

Decoursey had been trying to get out, but fell down the stairs. He was incapacitated at that point and couldn't get out on his own, Beard said.

Beard said he has not received an official report yet, but the fire is believed to have been caused by a space heater.

Beard said he can't say enough about the help the Woodstock Fire Department provided in fighting the fire. Since he became fire chief in April, he's worked hard to build good relationships with neighboring departments and it's really paid off.

"Woodstock really stepped up," he said. "These two towns really work well together.

Fires Campton Franconia Lincoln Thornton Woodstock

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