THOMASTON — A fire that stripped a car to its frame, Monday, March 25, is being documented as undetermined but accidental, with two possible causes.
Just after 4 p.m., Knox County Communications Center received a report of flames coming from a Prius that had pulled into the parking lot of Doorman’s Dairy Dream on Route 1.
In fact, according to Asst. Fire Chief Jamie Leo, the occupants had noticed fire coming from the dashboard/glove compartment area while at their previous stop at the Cigaret Shopper, near Dexter Street.
As the owner/operator, Whitney Beaulieu, of Wiscasset, was in the Shopper, her passenger, Nick Hodden, also of Wiscasset, remained in the car.
While Hodden waited for Beaulieu, he noticed smoke coming from the glove compartment, according to Leo. Upon opening the compartment, he saw that paper items inside were on fire.
That fire may have been sparked by a retail-store quality torch lighter that Hodden had previously tossed into the compartment, according to Leo.
Beaulieu and Hodden also told Leo that the blower motor attached to the vehicle’s heating system was not operating correctly. However, according to Leo, the motor was working when he and other firefighters arrived at Dorman’s.
Regardless, Hodden believed that he had extinguished all flames while at the Cigaret Shopper. But, then, as the couple continued on their travels, flames were seen again. So, they pulled into the Dorman’s lot and attempted to extinguish the fire with snow from a snow bank. When that procedure didn’t work, they called 911.
Leo just happened to be at Wal-Mart when he received the dispatch, and was on scene in less than a minute, he said. When he arrived – with his uniform, that he keeps in his vehicle – the car was already fully engulfed, but he still needed to wait for the trucks, driven by the firefighting crew, who all came from their work and home lives.
Tires blew, windows popped, which are common reactions in a car fire, according to Leo.
The windy day and long delay by the occupants in reporting the fire were recognized as factors that hindered the best possible outcome.
Yet, no firefighters were in danger as they approached and sprayed Class A foam on the remnants.
The crew was also protected from danger due to Leo’s decision to block off the northbound lanes. The position of the fire trucks and Sheriff’s Office cruiser also kept the hoses from being run over.
THOMASTON — A vehicle fire reduced a stretch of Route 1 in Thomaston to one lane, Monday, March 26.
Just after 4 p.m., Thomaston Fire Department responded to a report of a Prius fully engulfed by fire in the parking lot of Dorman’s Dairy Dream, opposite Applebees.
Though the vehicle was stopped out of the way of other vehicles, traffic was reduced to the southbound lane.
All Thomaston Fire units cleared the scene at approximately 4:45 p.m.
More information will be added as details become available.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org