Newport crews battle 2 fires within 12 hours

Posted Nov. 23, 2009, at 8:16 p.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — Newport Fire Department crews fought two structure fires in less than 12 hours Sunday and Monday. No one was injured in the blazes and there was no loss of living space, according to Assistant Chief Rick Turner.

The first fire was reported as an uncontrolled permitted brush fire at about 5:30 p.m. on Boatwell Corner Road in Palmyra. Newport Fire Department is typically the lead department on calls to that side of Palmyra, said Turner.

When crews arrived they found a building measuring approximately 16 by 24 feet in flames. The building was attached to an old mobile home that, according to Turner, was in the process of being demolished. No one lived in the mobile home or attached building, which are owned by Rodney Boatwell, according to Turner.

The fire was located about 100 yards back from the road. Turner said he was unable to confirm that a fire permit had been secured. He said the State Fire Marshal’s Office would investigate the cause.

The second fire, located at 30 Hall Road in Newport, was reported at 2:19 a.m. Monday. The homeowner, Steve Hall, had managed to extinguish the blaze himself, but not before it caused some $3,000 in damage and filled his garage with thick smoke. Firefighters vented the building and used a thermal imaging camera to make sure there were no unseen hot spots. Turner said the likely cause of that blaze was a defective ballast on a fluorescent light.

There was no damage to the Hall residence. Several area fire departments assisted with both calls, said Turner.

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