May 23, 2018
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Fire started by machine empties LL Bean warehouse

By Darren Fishell, Times Record

FREEPORT, Maine — Freeport and Yarmouth firefighters responded Thursday to a fire contained to a piece of equipment at L.L. Bean’s Freeport distribution center.

By the time firefighters were on scene, Freeport Deputy Fire Chief Ray Smith said, employees at the 310,000-square-foot facility had been evacuated and the fire was contained to the cardboard baling machine.

Smith said that burning cardboard inside the machine created a large amount of smoke, which fire crews pushed out with fans that pressurize the inside of the building, forcing the smoke up and out through roof vents.

L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said today that employees working near that piece of equipment were sent home for the day, while most distribution center employees returned to work after evacuation of the building.

“Whenever we have something potentially hazardous, we want to get on it immediately,” Beem said.

Beem said the fire appeared to be caused by an electrical malfunction in a cardboard baling machine.

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