THOMASTON — Shortly after a lightning bolt illuminated the sky over the Midcoast, Wednesday, July 8, mutual aid fire departments responded to a structure fire on Brooklyn Heights Road in Thomaston.
All occupants of an abutting house evacuated safely before fire crews battled flames for more than an hour within the second story of the two-floor garage at 56 Brooklyn Heights Road. The flames remained within the building, keeping interior crews busy among the smoke and fire. Outside, driving rains pummeled and a few lightning strikes broke the air as other responders rushed water to the transition area from a hydrant down the road.
According to Thomaston Fire Chief Mikial Mazzeo, the cause of fire was a lightning strike. However, no access point could be found. It is further believed that the energy from the lightning bolt could have traveled through the ground and into the structure by way of pipe or electrical unit.
As for the predictability of lightning, “all bets are off,” he said.
Fire remained contained to the attic space and one room of the upper level, according to Mazzeo. Smoke damage spread to the rest of the second floor while water damage could be seen on the first floor. A little more damage occurred as a result of overhaul. The building in its entirety, however, is all repairable, according to Mazzeo.
“Everyone was very fortunate,” he said.
A portion of Brooklyn Heights Road was closed to traffic after the 6:50 p.m. call to Knox Regional Communications Center, reopening again after 8:30 p.m. as trucks and personnel from Waldoboro, Cushing, Friendship, St. George, South Thomaston, Rockland, Camden, and Rockport cleared the scene. As those departments departed, other crews from Warren and Union cleared from station coverage of other departments.
Thomaston units remained on scene until after 9 p.m., while Cushing, Friendship, and South Thomaston moved on to other calls related to downed power lines.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org