Loss from ME Commercial Garage Fire Estimated at $1M

Firefighters at the scene of a raging fire in Lisbon, Maine.
Courtesy Topsham Fire & Rescue

Christopher Williams

Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine


Jan. 26—LISBON — A fire sparked by wood stove piping caused roughly $1 million damage to a commercial garage on Kelly Lane on Saturday night, a fire official said.

Deputy Fire Chief Bob Robittaille said Monday that several firefighters fell on ice at the scene of the three-alarm fire, which was reported at 5:30 p.m. One of them was taken to a hospital with an ankle injury, he said.

A neighbor called 911 after spotting flames, followed by a call from the owner.

The property owner, a former local firefighter, stored construction equipment, memorabilia and personal items in the building. The homeowner and a neighbor managed to remove much of the equipment before it was engulfed in flames, Robittaille said.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal pinpointed the origin of the fire in a wall where wood stove piping went through, Robitaille said.

Firefighters drew water from a pond behind the homeowner’s house to fight the fire.

Temperatures dropped to roughly 10 degrees Saturday night, which caused pooling water to freeze, the deputy chief said, leading to several firefighters falling on the ice. Ice also began to form in fire hoses after the blaze was brought under control at about 8 p.m., he said.

A Lisbon School Department bus was used as a warming vehicle, he said.

Robitaille said sanding trucks from the Public Works Department were called to the scene so firetrucks could gain enough traction to leave the scene. Some trucks stayed through the night to hose down hot spots and some returned Sunday midmorning to put out smoldering spots, he said.

The department was assisted by 10 surrounding towns and cities, he said, including station coverage.

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