BIW building damaged in fire

Posted April 04, 2012, at 7:50 a.m.
Last modified April 04, 2012, at 5:42 p.m.

BATH, Maine — A fire at Bath Iron Works on Tuesday caused thousands of dollars of damage to a large storage building, but no one was injured and production continued at the rest of the shipyard, said Bath Fire Chief Steve Hinds.

Hinds said portions of the two-story building, at the southern end of BIW’s main yard in Bath, were in flames when the first firefighters arrived just after 5:15 p.m. Hinds estimated the building is at least 100 feet long.

“We sent everything we had,” he said.

A crew of 13 firefighters from Bath and a brigade from Bath Iron Works used ladder trucks, tankers and other equipment to fight the fire. Hinds said the building is clad in steel but has wooden structural elements inside that will require repair by carpenters. The damage, most of which was confined to the west wall, can be repaired, he said.

Some items that were stored inside also were damaged, but Hinds was unable to estimate what they were worth. Hinds said the burning building was evacuated and the fire was extinguished within two hours.

BIW spokesman James DeMartini said Wednesday that the shipyard’s production was not interrupted and a final estimate of the damage had not been computed. Among the damaged items were boxes of flexible tubing that are used to evacuate contaminated air from work spaces where employees are doing jobs such as welding.

DeMartini and Hinds said the cause was still under investigation.

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