Malfunction leads to odor investigation at Rockland’s Breakwater Building

Mon, 12/20/2021 - 9:15pm

    ROCKLAND — A third-party report of an odor of burning plastic outside the Breakwater Building, 91 Camden Street, subsequently prompted a head to toe search of the building’s interior, Monday evening, December 20, 2021.

    At approximately 5:50 p.m., a caller contacted Rockland Fire Station directly to report the odor, after which, Knox Regional Communications Center also received a call from the person, who was not in the area at the time. According to Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock, an employee who was leaving the four-story Rockland structure called a supervisor in Boothbay and reported the odor.

    Last month in South Thomaston a house fire was also reported third-party by an off-duty co-worker.

    “Obviously if someone smells smoke within a building the first call should be to 9-1-1,” said Whytock. “Calling others before calling 9-1-1 delays the response of personnel.”

    Based on the third-party information, Rockland firefighters were led to believe that the smell was outside. Once on scene, however, other people claimed to smell the odor inside as well. Because of this new development of an interior odor, and due to the size of the building, firefighters felt it vital to pull the fire alarm to evacuate the building, and to simultaneously request assistance from their mutual aid – Rockport and Camden. 

    Rockland, Rockport, and Camden firefighters searched each floor for smoke spread, as well as verifying that all occupants had evacuated. With each upper floor checked, firefighters returned their attention to an area on the first floor. At that location a heating unit above the ceiling was malfunctioning.


    See our previous articles: 

    UPDATED: South Thomaston Granite Street fire ruled accidental

    Small fire prompts big response to Rockland’s Breakwater Building