Larger problems averted as Fisher Engineering wall smolders

Posted:  Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 8:00am

Story Location:
50 Gordon Drive
Rockland  Maine  04841
United States

ROCKLAND – Firefighters in Rockland kept a fire from spreading through a highly electrical area of Fisher Engineering Wednesday, Nov. 1, while using a minimal amount of water in the process.

At 2:13 p.m., having noticed smoke within the facility, an employee activated a pull alarm notifying area dispatchers, who in turned toned Rockland Fire and EMS to 50 Gordon Drive in the Industrial Park.

Initial on-scene walk-about by Captain Jeff Benner of Rockland Unit 20, starting at 2:18 p.m., did not find any fire, despite continued complaints of smoke. Then, as Rockland’s B-shift and Fire Chief Chris Whytock were enroute to the scene, dispatch was alerted to a fire in the paint room. Subsequent investigation uncovered smoldering flames within insulation in a wall separating the company’s paint room from the rest of the building, according to Chief Whytock’s report.

Firefighters kept the fire contained to the insulation.

“A lot of work was needed to make sure no further fire spread continued,” Whytock said in his report. “Due to the high electrical hazards that exist in an industrial setting, water was used with caution with only 100 gallons were used, most of that outside of the building.”

Twenty-six firefighters answered the call, including mutual aid from Camden, Rockport, and South Thomaston. During that same time, Thomaston EMS covered two Rockland EMS calls.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but electricians at the plant are working to rule out an electrical malfunction, according to the report.

Apparatus Assigned:
Rockland Tower 3              Rockport Engine 23
Rockland Squad 3             Rockport Engine 22
Rockland Engine 1            Camden Ladder 1 for RIT
Rockland Rescue              South Thomaston FD

Any factors contributing to, or hindering the success of the operation:
1. The early notification of the fire was key to prevent further damage. A worker inside the plant noticed smoke and pulled the fire alarm.
2. Plant supervisors made our jobs much easier. They secured utilities (power, gas) and were available to provide us with much needed info to be safe and effectively extinguish the fire.
3. Our mutual aid system works flawlessly in situations like these. Not only did we have help on scene, we also had Thomaston Ambulance cover 2 EMS calls while crews were working the Gordon Street fire.


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