LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Lewiston Fire Department is receiving recognition at the federal level for its heroic efforts in fighting three massive fires that broke out in downtown Lewiston earlier this spring.
Over a seven-day stretch, firefighters battled the flames in three separate fires. Several buildings were destroyed and hundreds were left homeless. Remarkably, there were no injuries and several buildings were saved.
"They showed such determination, professionalism, skill, courage, and dedication," U.S. Senator Susan Collins said. "I felt that their work should be recognized."
Sen. Collins recently visited the Lewiston Fire Department and honored the firefighters for their heroic efforts. She presented them with a copy of a proclamation she read in the U.S. Senate praising them for their courage. Sen. Collins also gave firefighters a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in their honor.
"Many times we take our first responders for granted and yet when there is a tragedy like these fires, they're the ones we expect to come to the rescue and they do time and time again," Sen. Collins said.
It's been three months since the string of fires broke out, but looking back on it several months later, Lewiston firefighters said they are honored to be recognized for their service at the federal level.
"[It's] a very proud day for our department and its members," Lewiston Fire Chief Paul LeClair said. "We can't say enough that [Sen. Collins] would take the time to do that. We're very happy, pleased, and honored."
The proclamation honoring the firefighters was put in the Congressional Record and official archives of the United States Senate.