Quick notification to The Knox County Regional Communications Center helped prevent a garage fire from spreading uphill into the woods, according to Rockland Fire and EMS, in a news release. However, due to this being started as a result of an unpermitted outside fire, the Maine Forest Service will be following up with the owner, Todd Carballo.
Carballo had been doing had been working to dismantle his garage, on Mountain Street, since late morning and went inside for a sandwich shortly before hearing “a large crackling noise” and seeing the garage was
now ablaze, said Asst. Fire Chief Adam Miceli.
The incident prompted RFD to issue a few important lessons regarding outside burning:
1. Make sure you have adequate distance between what your burning and any other combustibles, in this case the barrel was a bit too close to the garage.
2. Never leave a fire unattended, as this demonstrated, even a short period can be enough time for the wind to kick up, or sparks to fly into dry combustibles, leading to rapid fire growth. Had Mr. Carballo been present when this occurred he very likely would have been able to rapidly extinguish it with his garden hose.
3. A burn permit is required for any open burning, other than cooking fires. In this case the permit would not have changed the event, but would eliminate the potential citation on top of the damage suffered.
Responding to the initial call were: Rockland Squad 3, Rockland Engine 1, Rockland Rescue 2, Rockland Car 31, Rockport Fire, Camden Fire, and S. Thomaston. Camden Ladder 1 was returned to its station, and South Thomaston departed due to a motor vehicle crash on Route 131. Rockport continued to assist by trucking water from Old County Road to the scene.
ROCKLAND — A fire in Rockland unintentionally quickened demolition of a garage, Tuesday afternoon, May 3, 2022.
According to Rockland Fire Department, the garage on Mountain Street was already in disrepair with walls caving on their own prior to the homeowner’s dismantling of the structure. The fire department could not say whether the roof had already begun to collapse as well, because by the time the first personnel arrived on scene, the entire structure was engulfed in flames and the structure was entirely caved in.
The demolition process, said Asst. Fire Chief Adam Miceli, was to cut pieces off the building with a chainsaw and then burn them in an adjacent burn barrel. The homeowner took a meal break, and within a few minutes, the contents of the burn barrel had spread.
“He went inside to fix lunch, could hear it, went outside and saw that it had taken off,” said Miceli.
Fire personnel became aware immediately that the garage wasn’t savable, so they turned their attention to the vegetation that stood close by.
Fire crews put a hose between the homeowner’s mobile home and the fire, just to make sure it didn’t get to his house. Miceli reiterated that because of the heat of the flames, some vinyl siding on the house melted, but no flames caused the melting. Then seeing that it was not further affecting the house, they were then able to immediately put water behind the fire, on the trees, and the grassland uphill so that it didn’t take off on us and into the woods.
“We kind of went around and made sure that there was no where for it to go – outside of that – and before we went back in and fully extinguished the fire,” said Miceli.
Then, the challenge began. Because of the demolition in process, because of the collapsed and caving beams, many void spaces existed.
“We had to pull stuff apart to make sure we could get water in underneath because we couldn’t get to everything easily,” he said. “So there was a lot of digging, poking holes, ripping stuff up so that we could get water to all of the places it needed to go.”
Rockport and South Thomaston tankers shuttled water from Old County Road until South Thomaston was called away for a motor vehicle crash. Miceli estimated that 3500 gallons of water were ultimately used at the scene.
No injuries were reported.
ROCKLAND — A one-story garage in Rockland was fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived on scene Tuesday afternoon.
Rockland Fire Department and its mutual aid were called to Mountain Street, May 3, 2022, just after 4:10 p.m. They were not able to save the structure, but were able to keep nearby trees from catching fire.
When the fire was reported, Rockport firefighters had just settled back into their station after tending to a motorcycle crash in their town. The single rider on the vehicle was taken by North East Ambulance to a helipad where LifeFlight took over care.
South Thomaston firefighters arrived to the Mountain Street call, but were soon called to the St. George Road, Route 131, for a motor vehicle crash. The three people involved all declined transport to the hospital.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org