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Candia chief's persistence gets couple out of burning home

Union Leader Correspondent

November 06. 2013 9:03PM
On Tuesday, flames were shooting from the barn of the Rodiers' home on Depot Road in Candia. 


R ay Rodier says he is grateful to the "pushy" police chief who saved Rodier and his wife, Marlene, from a fire that destroyed a 100-year-old barn and a good part of their house.

"He broke in through the front door, and I was in the bathroom downstairs and my wife was upstairs, and he wouldn't let us finish up, he just grabbed us and got us out of there," said Ray Rodier, who served as Candia's animal control officer for 27 years until he retired a few years ago. "The chief was very, very pushy, but in a good way. He is a good guy I tell you, in fact the entire police force is great."

Police Chief Mike McGillen said he was the first to arrive at 17 Depot Road Monday afternoon. The house's attached barn was already engulfed in flames.

"...I ran to the front door, and I saw smoke coming out, but not as heavy as out back, so I forced my way inside, and helped Ray and Marlene out of the house," McGillen said. "Ray was disoriented so I grabbed him and got them both to a neighbor's house."

Rodier's son Richard, a deputy chief with the Epping Fire Department, said that McGillen is a hero.

"Mike and I grew up together, and he is a great guy. I would give up my right arm for him," Richard said.

Neighbor Harold French also helped, he said, "but Mike made him wait at the front door; he wouldn't let him follow him into the house because it was too dangerous."When the Candia Fire Department arrived, Fire Chief Dean Young said he put out a two-alarm call to get more manpower. Young said the fire is not considered suspicious.

Richard Rodier said while the kitchen, laundry room, and the bathroom his father was in when McGillen arrived were all destroyed, the rest of the house might be salvageable, despite smoke and heat damage.

"The most important thing is that (the two Jack Russell terriers) and my parents all got out safely. The house can be rebuilt," Rodier said.

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