OWLS HEAD — An investigator with the Maine Fire Marshal’s office has determined the cause of fire that destroyed a lobster boat in Owls Head Harbor early Sunday morning, Oct. 16.
Owls Head Fire Chief Frank Ross said Oct. 18 that the fire originated in the battery box on the boat, although exactly what malfunctioned there remains unknown. He said video cameras indicated no foul play at the harbor, and there were no people around when the fire began.
According to Ross, a resident spotted the blaze at approximately 4:25 a.m.
The boat belonged to Todd Nichols, who has fished out of Owls Head for much of his life, said Ross. The 31-foot-boat was fairly new, and was insured.
Nichols had gone out on his boat on Saturday, arriving back home around 5:30 p.m., said Ross.
Eleven members of the fire department responded and Owls Head Fire Dept. Lt. Jim Philbrook jumped into his lobster boat to drive the burning vessel away from the other boats in the harbor, toward the lighthouse side of the harbor.
The wind was blowing quite a bit, said Ross, and the fire department worked hard to douse the blaze with a pumper that was behind Philbrook’s boat.
What was left of the lobster boat has been towed to the town landing at Owls Head. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection was down at the water on Sunday to assess for any fuel contamination.
Ross said much of the local fishing community was also at the harbor on Sunday to help Nichols clean up what they could.
“Everybody was at the harbor trying to help him,” he said.
Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at firstname.lastname@example.org; 207-706-6657
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