LINCOLN, Maine — Fire Chief Phil Dawson expressed appreciation Tuesday at how Thornton Bros. general manager Bill Thornton saved firefighters a whole lot of work with some quick reflexes this past weekend.
Thornton noticed smoke pouring from the boiler room at his Chevrolet auto dealership at 125 Main St. at about 2:20 p.m. Sunday and handled the situation just about right. Thornton called 911 before grabbing a fire extinguisher and dousing most of the flames before firefighters arrived, he and Dawson said.
“He knocked it down and had things in pretty good shape when we arrived,” Dawson said Tuesday. “He did a good job.”
Firefighters don’t always recommend that nonfirefighters tackle flames, particularly if they lack proper equipment, Dawson said. Often people fail to call 911 before they do anything else and then lose control of the fire, exacerbating an already bad situation, but Thornton, a former town firefighter, didn’t do that.
“People will try to do what they can, but they have to make sure they don’t overextend their capabilities,” Dawson said.
The fire caused minor damage but would have been much worse had Thornton not acted as quickly as he did, Dawson said.
The incident, Dawson said, was only the second fire call for firefighters this month.