Maine News

Friday, December 3, 2021

Massive fire destroys Maine Turnpike Authority facility in Litchfield

VIDEO: A massive fire destroyed the Maine Turnpike Authority facility in Litchfield Thursday night. Millions of dollars’ worth of equipment was destroyed. “My reaction is like most people, can’t believe it,” MTA Chief Operations Officer Peter Merfeld said. With the Maine Turnpike Authority building engulfed in flames, an employee saw the fire and called 911. “Around 5 o’clock, one of our employees was leaving the yard and noticed some smoke coming out of the building behind me,” Merfeld said. Inside the eight-bay storage building were five plow trucks, a loader and a new traffic control vehicle among other equipment. All of the equipment and the building were destroyed. Now the focus is on what to do without the trucks that typically cover dozens of miles on the highway.
WPFO-TV FOX 23 Waterville

Hermon Fire purchases potentially life-saving training prop

VIDEO: A long-awaited addition to the Hermon Fire Department has finally arrived. A new training prop is helping firefighters be better prepared to enter burning buildings. “We’ve been getting pictures of this as it’s been built over the months, so it’s kind of like a baby. We’ve been waiting for it to arrive,” said Hermon Fire Chief Frank Roma. After placing an order in June, the Hermon Fire Department finally received its custom made training prop this week. “It’s a cutaway mockup of the construction types and features that you’ll find in residential homes that are either made with a construction type that’s called balloon frame, or platform frame,” Roma said. “Simply put, any building that’s on fire is a building that’s under destruction. The construction elements and parts of that building that are being exposed to fire are becoming weak and potentially, over time, they’ll fail and collapse. This allows us to have a better idea of what we’re working with.”
WABI-TV CBS/CW+ 5 Bangor

Area crews respond to structure fire in Oakland

A large section of Main Street in downtown Oakland was closed part of the day as crews battled a fire. Several area fire departments responded to the three story building where people reported seeing smoke after 11 a.m. Thursday. Officials say the fire started on the first floor where there are multiple businesses. There were no injuries. Officials say the apartments on the top two floors were evacuated safely and crews rescued two pets. With the proximity of the buildings on that stretch of road, the Oakland Fire Chief says a large and quick response was crucial. ”Given that it’s right here on the Main Street and low manpower through the initial operations, we had departments from as far away as Augusta and Norridgewock. Being right on the main drag, having all the buildings together, it’s important that we get that quick fire knock down because you could easily lose a big section of your downtown,” said David Coughlin, Oakland Fire Chief.
WABI-TV CBS/CW+ 5 Bangor

Outgoing Farmington Fire Rescue Chief honored, Captain Hardy named interim fire chief

A surprise party was held Tuesday, Nov. 30, for outgoing Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell. Bell announced in October that he would be stepping down. He has served as the chief since June of 2000. Family members, fire department colleagues, other town employees and state representatives were at the fire station to wish Bell well on his move from Chief to Captain. Sen. Russell Black of Wilton presented Bell with a Legislative sentiment. Bell was presented a fire axe plaque acknowledging his 21 years of service as Chief of the Farmington Fire Rescue Department. He received another plaque featuring a flag and the fire department’s logo from Police Chief Kenneth Charles and former Police Chief Jack Peck.
Sun Journal - Metered Site

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Westbrook Fire Department to add job to lead public health efforts

Burnout from 80-hour work weeks during the pandemic caused former Westbrook Fire Department Chief and city Health Officer Andrew Turcotte to resign this fall and the department is trying to keep that from happening again. The department has created a new deputy chief position specifically to focus on EMS and health duties, parts of the department’s responsibilities that expanded under Turcotte’s tenure, especially during the pandemic. Turcotte’s long hours prevented him from spending enough time with his family, he told the American Journal Monday, and handling all of the Westbrook department’s public health services, such as COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, added to his workload. The new position is being advertised now and the chief’s position will likely be advertised in the new year, Mayor Mike Foley said.
American Journal - Press Herald

Update: South Thomaston fire ruled accidental

The cause of a fire in South Thomaston, Monday morning, Nov. 29, 2021, has been ruled accidental in nature and electrical in category. According to South Thomaston Fire Chief Bryan Calderwood, the origin was traced to an area within a wall behind a sink and refrigerator. The damage caused by the fire then prompted firefighters to conduct extensive overhaul to hot spots in walls and the ceiling. In the first moments after finding the fire, on Granite Street, Calderwood directed some of the firefighters to establish a water supply operation, using a fire pond off Spruce Head Road, near village. Tankers from Owls Head, Cushing, and Warren stood at the ready to shuttle water to a water pool near Granite Street. However, the firefighters at the house were able to extinguish the fire with an approximate 1,000 gallons of water from the three trucks parked at the house.
Penobscot Bay Pilot

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