Site of Melrose Circle fire demolished, cause remains undetermined
ROCKLAND – This week demolition crews cleared away all but the foundation from a Melrose Circle house that was heavily damaged by fire in March. The case, however, remains open, according to Sgt. Joel Davis of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
In the weeks following the March 12 fire, investigators returned to site at least three times.
During a May 22 phone conversation, Davis said the cause of fire will likely remain categorized as undetermined. Yet, the case remains open to allow for any future evidence that may surface.
The Rockland Code Enforcement Office permitted demolition around the end of April and beginning of May, according to the Rockland City Manager’s Report posted May 7.
ROCKLAND – 3/16/18 The state fire marshal’s office continues to assist in the investigation of a house fire on Melrose Circle in Rockland. An investigator returned to the site Thursday, March 15 for further digging of clues within the rubble, according to Fire Chief Chris Whytock.
At 1:07 p.m., Monday, March 12, Rockland firefighters encountered heavy fire coming from the rear and basement of the Crounce Family’s home at 8 Melrose Circle North.
Melrose Circle is a residential street, to the southwest of Oceanside High School, divided through the middle by Lawn Avenue.
As first on scene, Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock instigated the chain of communication, starting with A-Shift and other personnel who happened to be at the station for an EMS class.
Upon arrival, the team placed two handlines into operation.
“A quick knock down of the initial fire was done and members entered the main floor to put the fire out that had extended into the top floor and attic area,” Whytock wrote in his report. “Members from Rockport Fire and Thomaston Fire assisted on scene to control the fire spread. In all, about 1,000 gallons of water was applied before the fire was fully extinguished.”
Responding mutual aid units included Rockport, Camden, and Thomaston, along with call shift personnel who volunteer for Rockland.
In total, about 25 personnel responded.
As they worked to restore the situation, North East Ambulance responded to another call on Rockland’s behalf.
According to Whytock, no injuries occurred, however the family pet perished.
Whytock wrote the following in his report:
As is true with any fire, a quick response saves lives and property. A staffed fire department is able to respond quicker and mitigate the hazards sooner, preventing further fire spread and damage from occurring. Having the off duty members here at the station allowed for quicker water supply and knock down of the flames.
Our mutual aid system worked to get us more firefighters and coverage for the rest of the City while we handled the initial call.
Date/Time Reported: 03/12/2018 at 13:04 (1:04PM)
Address of Incident: 8 Melrose Circle North
First Unit/Arrival Time: Rockland Car 1 arrived at 13:07 (1:07 PM) est
Rockland Tower 3
Rockport Engine 23
Rockland Squad 3
Rockport Engine 22
Rockland Engine 1
Rockland Engine 2
Camden Ladder 1 for RIT
Rockland Rescue 1 and 2
South Thomaston FD
North East Mobile Health
Rockland Car 1
This article will be updated as more details become available.
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