11 fire departments respond to Liberty business blaze

One man hurt in fire that took seven hours to completely extinguish
Posted:  Monday, January 9, 2017 - 9:00pm

LIBERTY — An early evening fire Sunday on Route 3 has left one man injured, and a Liberty business as a complete loss.

The building, which was home to Affordable Towing & Marine Transport, formerly housed Magnum Manufacturing. 

Liberty Fire Department received report of the structure fire at 7:20 p.m. on Jan. 8, according to Liberty Fire Chief Bill Gillespie. 

“We were advised heavy smoke and fire were showing from the corner of the building,” he said. 

While the Liberty crew began an initial attack of the fire, they were hindered in part by limited manpower and resources. The frigid temperatures only made the situation more difficult, said Gillespie.

“We set up a water supply from Lake Saint George, which took extra time because [the lake is] frozen over,” Gillespie said. 

Other issues involved with fighting the blaze were the contents of the structure, which held several vehicles, in addition to welding equipment. Thpose contents led to multiple explosions while fire crews attempted to subdue the flames. 

“We set up for a defensive attack due to the fire growing rapidly,” Gillespie said. 

A man that was renting the building was present at the time of the fire, and was transported to Waldo County General Hospital for treatment of injuries suffered during the incident. 

Route 3 was closed for several hours while fire crews battled to contain the fire and quell any potential further explosions.

It was a fight that would wear on for seven hours, with crews on scene until roughly 2:30 a.m., when temperatures were hovering in the low single digits. 

In total, 10 additional tankers from 10 different fire departments responded to the scene, including units from Searsmont, Montville, Lincolnville, Belmont and others.

The Maine State Fire Marshall’s office is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

Erica Thoms can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com