Flames ignite above sprinkler system at Fisher Engineering

Posted:  Monday, January 29, 2018 - 8:45am

Reporter’s note: As of Friday afternoon, Feb. 2, the cause of fire is still under investigation, according to a representative from the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Many aspects are being considered, including other recent accidental fires in the area.

ROCKLAND – An investigator from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s office is assisting Rockland Fire to determine the cause of flames within the Fisher Engineering facility in Rockland Monday, January 29.

That cause, which remains unknown, prompted the evacuation of employees, and drew fire-fighting support from five neighboring fire departments.

Three times, dispatchers at the Knox County Communications office sent out requests for additional aid. At 7:03 a.m., dispatch reported the fire at 50 Gordon Drive in the Rockland Industrial Park. Assistant Chief Mazzeo and his crew found heavy smoke in the facility, according to Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock’s official report. This prompted a first alarm for more firefighters and equipment.

“It was determined that fire had extended beyond the reach of the sprinkler system and flame impingement to the roof was occurring,” Whytock said in his report.

A third alarm summoned more responders to deal with extension and overhaul of the area.

Rockland EMS, Thomaston EMS and North East Ambulance also arrived on scene, though no injuries to either employees or responders were reported.

Whytock’s report listed the following factors contributing to, or hindering, the success of the operation:
1. Early notification of the fire helped minimize the damage within the building, as well evacuate the employees safely.
2. Although the fire was able to extend past the capability of the sprinkler system, it was held at a smaller and more manageable size until crews could arrive on scene and fully extinguish the blaze.
3. The extent of the fire and the size of the building called for additional companies to aid in the extinguishment of the fire. Our mutual aid system in Knox County allows all of our firefighters to operate more safely and efficiently.
4. CMP was able to respond quickly and cut the power into the building which increased the safety within the building.
5. The Knox Regional Communications Center did an outstanding job coordinating all the incoming companies and radio traffic.

Ten days ago, responders extinguished a small fire in one of the building’s air-handling vents, believed to be caused by a spark from a nearby grinding project. In November, firefighters dealt with fire in an interior wall of the same facility.


 This story will be updated when more details become available.


ROCKLAND – Three separate tones by Knox dispatchers brought Rockland responders and area mutual aid departments to Fisher Engineering between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Monday, January 29.

Initial responders arrived to find flames in the ceiling at a level higher than the sprinkler system.

Rockland, Camden, Rockport, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Owls Head, Thomaston Ambulance, and North East Mobile Health all responded to the call.

This story will be updated when more details become available.