two transported with minor injuries, cause of fire determined

St. George home a total loss, but still standing after afternoon fire

Posted:  Friday, March 8, 2019 - 1:15pm

ST. GEORGE – An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office arrived on scene to assist with determining the cause of a fire in St. George that destroyed a garage and left the attached house standing, but un-inhabitable, Friday, March 8.

That cause is believed to have started with a fan on the second floor of the garage at 34 Balsam Lane, according to St. George Fire Chief Michael Smith.

Firefighters from seven departments assisted in battling the 12:05 p.m. fire, with initial emphasis on the first floor of the garage, which happened to be used for hay storage.

Warren, Cushing, Thomaston, South Thomaston, and a pumper truck from Owls Head came to the scene after the initial dispatch call.

Conditions were not ideal with the house being out in the woods, on a narrow, unpaved icy road, yet the situation could have been worse, according to Smith.

They were not good, either.

The mutual aid call came in the middle of the work day, pulling responders from their regular jobs and lives. And though many departments were dispatched from the onset, only four firefighters arrived in the first truck, and two firefighters on the second truck.

“We were very thin for the first half hour,” said Smith.

They were also far from water. Their main source was a marsh in Tenants Harbor. That water was pumped into a Warren truck, driven to the intersection of Barter Point Road and Spruce Lane, pumped into a South Thomaston tanker, then pumped through a 4-inch hose to the scene.

The other source was a water source on Barter Point Road, though Smith didn’t learn the details of that location.

At some point, two responders were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. One fell and jammed his shoulder. The other just needed to be checked out, according to Smith.

Reinforcement came from a Rockland crew and a Rockport crew, around 2 p.m., at the request for more manpower.

Eventually, some sandwiches arrived for the crew, as cleanup continued into the evening.

At 4 p.m., an excavator was en route to clear away the remains of the garage.

At 8 p.m., the last remaining St. George  responders cleared the scene. However, their day didn’t end there. Personnel spent a further two hours back at the station cleaning their uniforms and air packs, reorganizing their gear, getting a bite to eat, and just sitting for a moment.

The Red Cross is assisting the homeowners.




ST. GEORGE — Three hours after a homeowner first reported smoke coming from a garage near Barter Point Road, requests for additional St. George firefighter personnel were again dispatched.

At 12:05 p.m., Friday, March 8, Knox County Communications Center alerted St. George Fire, and its mutual aid, to 34 Balsam Lane.

At that time, St. George crew, along with Warren, Thomaston, South Thomaston, and Cushing descended upon the property at the end of a narrow back road, off of the slightly larger, yet still unpaved, Spruce Lane.

As some members of Warren and South Thomaston departments kept water coming from a nearby marsh to the corner of Barter Point Road and Spruce Lane, others worked the fire itself, as it eventually spread from the garage to the attached house.

The homeowners and a dog were able to evacuate safely, while chickens and some mildly curious goats stayed safe outside, on the opposite side of the driveway.

As fire spread to the living quarters, more personnel arrived from Rockland and Rockport.

Even still, the garage burned to the ground, and the house was destroyed.


Reach Sarah Thompson at


St. GEORGE- On the afternoon of Friday, March 8 firefighters from St. George, Cushing, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Rockland and Rockport were battling a structure fire at a residence at 34 Balsam Lane in St. George. 

The fire was reported to Knox County Dispatch at 12:05 p.m. 

Shortly after 1 p.m., firefighters remained on scene at the residence, which has an attached garage. 

The homeowners and their pets, including a dog and goats, were safely evacuated from the blaze. 

The home was destroyed by the fire. 

Details will be added as more information becomes available.