Flash fire burns auction employee

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted May 18, 2010, at 11:16 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — A Central Maine Auction Center employee suffered some severe burns on Monday afternoon when spray he was using caused an explosion, Capt. Eric Pelletier of the Hermon Fire Department said Tuesday.

Eric Molton, 31, residence unknown, “was spraying some undercoating in the cabin of a dump truck and something caused it to ignite,” Pelletier said. “He had some pretty severe burns to his arms” and minor burns to his face.

Molton was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after the incident, which was reported at around 2 p.m. Monday.

A receptionist at the business, which also is known as Central Maine Auto Auction and located on Concord Drive, said the injured man was doing fine Tuesday. A message left Tuesday morning for company officials for a comment was not returned.

The explosion was basically a fireball that quickly burned itself out, Sgt. Tim York of the State Fire Marshal’s Office said.

“It was a flash fire,” he said.

Even though the fire extinguished itself quickly, “employees used a couple of [fire] extinguishers” on the dump truck’s cab to ensure nothing was burning, Pelletier said.

“There was no fire” when firefighters arrived, he said.

Spraying undercoating is commonplace, employees told fire officials, and why it caught on fire is unknown, Pelletier said.

Fire investigators are called whenever there are injuries at a business due to fire, the fire captain explained.

“The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time,” York said Tuesday afternoon.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/05/18/news/bangor/flash-fire-burns-auction-employee/ printed on August 20, 2014