Automatic alarm alerts Rockland firefighters to hidden flames at Fisher Engineering
ROCKLAND — “Do we commonly find fire when we respond to a fire alarm? No,” said Rockland Fire Asst. Chief Mikail Mazzeo. “But we try not to be surprised when we do.”
Often, smoke detector alarms that are programmed into a central station, such as those of private security companies (who then call Knox County Communications Center), can go off as the result of situations other than fire. It could be cigar smoke, dust, or steam that trips the system. It could be a human error, or an intentional act.
In all cases, the alarm is proof that the system is working.
In this case, Monday morning, Nov. 19, a fire actually was underway.
At 8:20 a.m., Knox County Communications Center notified Rockland Fire Department of a call from a private security company regarding an automatic alarm indicating sprinkler activation at Fisher Engineering.
When the four on-duty crew members arrived, emergency status, they found that employees had already evacuated the plow manufacturing facility, according to A/C Mikail Mazzeo, in a news release.
Plant supervisors then met the responders and told of a fire inside, having relied on the alarm system to make the call to dispatch for them.
“Investigation indicated a fire confined to the dust collector,” Mazzeo said. “Due to the size and occupancy of the building, a first alarm was struck,” increasing the number of responder personnel from Rockland, Rockport, Camden, and Thomaston, to 28.
However, once the cause was identified as overheating in the Shot Blaster Dust Collection System, extinguishment remained more difficult than simply aiming a hose.
Instead, 24 filters had to be removed and doused individually, according to Mazzeo.
Rockland cleared from the scene at 10:25 a.m.
This is the fourth time in a year that Rockland Fire Department has responded to Fisher Engineering.
Previous Pen Bay Pilot articles regarding Fisher Engineering fires:
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