Hermon business fire deemed an accident

Posted Nov. 10, 2009, at 11:19 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — A fire that destroyed a business in the Freedom Industrial Park on Monday was accidental and likely started near a propane furnace, the fire chief said Tuesday.

The fire at Carmel Electric Inc. started shortly after 6 p.m. A passer-by noticed flames coming from the building and called it in.

Fire Chief Larry Willis said all employees had gone home at least an hour and a half before the call.

“When someone drives by and sees flames coming from a building, there’s not too much we can do,” he said. “But no one was hurt.”

Crews from Hermon, Hampden, Bangor, Levant and Glenburn responded quickly and knocked down the flames, but Willis said the metal structure was considered a total loss.

The owner, Robert Turner, was at the scene Monday evening. Willis said the business, which installs commercial and industrial electrical systems and wiring, was insured, and the chief thought the building would be replaced.

Willis said the State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate the fire further with Carmel Electric insurance representatives, but the cause was accidental.

An unrelated and much smaller fire occurred in the same industrial park earlier in the day on Monday. Employees at Freedom Auto Body called Hermon firefighters after a small fire started inside their business. Willis said that fire was caused by employees using a device for a space heater that should not have been used for that purpose.

“People have to be careful with makeshift space heaters,” he said. “It’s not the bargain you think it is if it can burn your building down.”

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