Occupants escape out of first floor window

Vinalhaven Fire Department quickly contains house fire

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 1:00pm

VINALHAVEN – Quick actions on the part of the Vinalhaven Fire Department allowed for the majority of a house to remain standing after fire broke out Thursday, June 18.

Just before 12:30 a.m., occupants of a house on Mack’s Pond Road escaped out a first-floor window as flames spread up a wall on the exterior side of the structure and into the roof, according to Vinalhaven Fire Chief Marc Candage.

Initial responders arrived on scene, within 8 minutes of the dispatch from Knox Regional Communications Center, and found heavy fire at the rear of the building.

An outside sand bucket was the habitual disposal site of smoking materials by a smoker who lived in the house, according to the chief. Further investigation by the state fire marshal’s office determined that on this particular occasion, improper extinguishment of smoking materials led to the nighttime flareup.

Though the structure appears unmarred from the short, narrow roadway, the house remains un-liveable due to heavy damage to the rear side of the structure and the interior, according to Candage.

First crews to the scene knocked down the fire fairly quickly, he said. However, the 13 personnel who responded continued to be on scene for approximately three hours.

The fire department is made up of 24 trained firefighters who live on the island. Mutual aid is not an immediate option.

“We’re pretty much on our own out here,” said Candage.

But then, structure fires don’t happen often. The department does, however, respond to other types of fire calls. Last year, the crew responded to about 100 calls, according to Candage.

Reach Sarah Thompson at news@penbaypilot.com