Man Charged After Blocking Ambulance at House Fire

A Derry man will face charges after allegedly spitting at an ambulance after the Derry Fire Department was called to his neighbors’ home.

Robert Lebel, 52, of 12 Beacon Hill Road, was arrested after he came home Thursday, March 13, to find an ambulance parked in his driveway, according to Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas.

According to Thomas, Lebel parked behind the ambulance, refusing to move it when both fire and police personnel asked him.

When they asked him again, he is alleged to have spat on the rear window of the ambulance, and also to have sworn at officers.

Thomas said police then arrested Lebel for disorderly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor with a fine up to $2,000. He was released on a summons, with a court date of March 27.

Derry Fire Battalion Chief Jack Webb wrote in a press release that the Fire Department received a call to 23 Beacon Hill Road at 5:55 p.m. Engines 1, 2 and 3, Truck 4, Medic 1, and Car 1 responded along with Engine 3 from Windham.

When they arrived, Webb wrote, they found a small fire on the outside of the single-family home. The fire involved wooden steps, where the fire began, and the siding and some of the basement, according to Webb.

Off-duty personnel were recalled, Webb wrote.

Derry Police arrived on the scene first and evacuated the residents at home, an adult female and three children.

Webb wrote that crews extinguished the exterior fire, then removed a wooden door, some siding and wooden steps in order to stop the spread of the fire. A small fire spread to the basement, which crews were able to extinguish, Webb wrote.

With thermal imaging equipment, crews were able to determine that the fire had not spread to the first floor.

The home was able to be reoccupied after ventilating and the removal of smoke.

Webb wrote that the cause of the fire was determined to be improper disposal of ashes from a wood stove. He reminded residents that ashes should be placed in a metal container and stored outside and well away from the house and combustible materials.

Webb said that Windham responded immediately due to an “automatic aid” agreement. An engine and chief from Windham were dispatched on the first alarm and were second to arrive, Webb wrote. Windham provided services including a back-up hand-line for interior operations and were able to check for fire extension. Other mutual aid came from Londonderry, which assisted with a medical emergency on South Avenue and also provided station coverage.

According to Derry Assessor’s records, the house is owned by Amy Thibeault.