BREWER, Maine — Smoke and flames that rolled out of the front entrance of a welding supply company on Robertson Boulevard early Wednesday morning put firefighters on high alert, but the fire turned out to be relatively minor, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Dore said later in the day.
The fire was reported at 5:15 a.m. at Maine Oxy-Acetylene Supply Co., which supplies welding, industrial and specialty gases.
“Obviously, the minute they said where the fire was there was a concern,” Dore said.
Brewer police Cpl. Roger Hersey and Officer Rodney Gerald placed roadblocks at each end of the roadway to ensure no public traffic was in the area in case something exploded, he said. Later it was discovered “all the cylinders were stored in the building beside” the one that caught fire, Dore said.
Police arrived at the scene first and reported flames on the front side of the business, but by the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later, only heavy smoke was visible, he said.
“We broke the glass on the front door and the fire was over in the corner,” Dore said.
A wooden cabinet that covered an electric panel in the business’ retail area caught fire and was quickly extinguished by firefighters.
“We were fortunate the fire was in the very front corner,” Dore said.
There was some minor water and smoke damage, but the business still opened on Wednesday, Carl Paine, Maine Oxy business development manager, said that afternoon.
About 18 Brewer firefighters went to the scene and no injuries were reported, Dore said. Crews began to leave the scene at 5:45 a.m. and fire officer Lt. Dennis Tinkham and Bangor electrical inspector Jeff St. Pierre determined that “something shorted” causing the electrical fire, the assistant fire chief said.