A sergeant at the Waldo County Sheriff's Office is being credited with saving the home of a Thorndike family from being destroyed by a Christmas Eve fire.

Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said Sgt. Dale Brown happened to be patrolling in the area of Brooks Road in Thorndike that night when he heard the initial report of the fire over the scanner at about 1 a.m.

"Dale [Brown] happened to be in the area, so he swung out," said Trafton.

Once the officer arrived, he found that the three adult home occupants had escaped the building safely, Trafton said. Then Brown obtained a ladder from the homeowner, got his fire extinguisher from the cruiser and started fighting the fire himself, as he was the first emergency responder to arrive on scene.

"He used up the whole fire extinguisher to do it, but he got the fire almost completely knocked down," said Trafton. "He made it so this fire didn't cause anyone to be homeless on Christmas Eve."

A posting on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page Monday morning, Dec. 31, commended Brown and members of the Thorndike Fire Department, as well as those of several surrounding towns, for saving the home.

"Sgt. [Dale] Brown used his fire extinguisher to extinguish most of the flames and bought some valuable time for the members of the Thorndike Fire Department to arrive on scene," states the posting. "Thorndike Fire responded, along with numerous local fire departments, to contain the fire. The residence was spared as a result of the quick response from all involved."

Trafton said he learned of Brown's actions from Assistant Thorndike Fire Warden Clyde Rolerson, who called Trafton to let him know how much he and his fellow firefighters appreciated Brown's assistance at the scene.

On Friday, Dec. 28, Trafton said Brown received a formal commendation for his role in dousing the fire.