two fire department tankers crash

UPDATED: Firefighters from multiple Knox County towns battle St. George house fire

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 1:15pm

ST. GEORGE — Heavy presence of fuel in a Tyler Lane garage may have added to the intensity of a house fire in St. George, Thursday, Oct. 17.

According to St. George Fire Chief Michael Smith, multiple vehicles were inside the structure as homeowner Bernard Davis and his dog safely escaped a growing fire. Those vehicles included a full-size pickup truck and minivan, as well as a couple motorcycles, a golf cart, a four-wheeler, and a couple other vehicles.

Compounding attempts to extinguish the blaze, which was reported at approximately 12:45 p.m., was a strong wind that Smith estimated to be about 30 miles per hour, blowing straight in to the doors of the 5-bay garage, and forcing the fire back into the interior.

An open window in the structure also oxygenated flames from a generator that was in use due to the previous nights’ storm. Smith and a State Fire Marshal’s Office investigator determined that it was the generator that caused the fire.

With the nearest official water supply source roughly two miles away, and with reinforcements still en route, St. George took advantage of the shoreline proximity by repeatedly filling a tanker with ocean water.

The fire department usually doesn’t use salt water, according to Smith. However, in this case, the water came in handy.

“St. George Engine 4 pumped saltwater for a while until the tide went out, for as long as we could pump it,” said Smith. “But, we were having problems with seaweed that kept clogging our strainer.”

When mutual aid arrived from Thomaston, South Thomaston, Cushing, and Warren, shuttle relays commenced to the Route 73 water supply, putting a relay into continuous motion for several more hours.

Tankers from Camden, Union, and Appleton were then employed following a motor vehicle accident involving an Owls Head tanker and a St. George tanker.

Because of everyone’s efforts, the first floor of the house is still standing – not liveable – and with significant water damage. The next day, family and neighbors were able to find and salvage a few personal mementos from that first floor, according to Smith.

As was the case for most of the firefighters who battled that fire, St. George firefighters had been awake since 4 a.m., assisting with the removal of trees from wires and roadways. They cleared the fire scene at 9:30 p.m., only to return to the station where they spent approximately 90 more minutes cleaning their gear and eating the foods provided by the St. George Auxiliary. Earlier in the day, the South Thomaston Auxiliary brought sandwiches and other foods directly to the scene.




ST. GEORGE — An oceanfront home was already engulfed in flames by the time St. George Fire Department and its mutual aid were alerted to a fire at 12 Tyler Lane. 

Following a 12:46 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, call to Knox Regional Communications Center, several area fire departments brought personnel and equipment to the ocean shoreline of the dead-end seaside Clark Island Road, where they looked to the right at the burning structure. 

Because the two-story home was already known to be engulfed, St. George firefighters immediately prioritized tanker trucks as their greatest necessity. Due to that request, other fire departments beyond the automatic first-call departments were called upon. 

And then, when a motor vehicle accident occurred involving two of those tankers (see our corresponding article below), even more departments were called upon to fill that gap, and eventually, to bring fresh energy to the fire fighting itself. 

Appleton, Union, and Camden fire departments were released from the scene at 5:10 p.m.

At 7:10 p.m., Thomaston was released, and at 7:14 p.m., Cushing, Friendship, and Warren were released.

South Thomaston cleared at 9:25 p.m., and all remaining cleared at 9:30 p.m.

See our corresponding article: Three firefighters injured in crash involving two fire engines


These articles will be updated as more information becomes available.

Reach Sarah Thompson at


ST. GEORGE — Firefighters are on scene on the Tyler Road in St. George fighting a fire that has engulfed a home there. The fire is burning a house nearby the Craignair Inn. 

St. George, Cushing, South Thomaston, Thomaston, Owls Head and Warren fire departments have responded. Appleton and Friendship fire departments have been called for help with supplying two tankers.

Rockland EMS has been called to assist with a crash involving two fire engines near the St. George scene. Three firefighters have been transported to the hospital.

Rockport Fire Department is covering the Rockland station while Rockland first responders assist.