BATH, Maine — A family and their home is safe after a grill malfunction Saturday afternoon caused the propane tank to vent flames and set a large porch on fire.
Bath Fire Chief Steve Hinds said firefighters got the call for a fire at a single-family residence at 36 Hinckley St., at 3:42 p.m. on Saturday. The family had a problem with its gas grill and the safety valve activated when something went wrong with the unit, Hinds said. The propane tank’s safety mechanism operated correctly due to the unit failure, Hinds said, and the fusible link — a light metal link — melted off so the tank could discharge the pressure and shoot propane out through the cylinder head where the link was. Hinds said this consists of a “great big whoosh of fire” that comes out of the tank to keep it from exploding.
Firefighters arrived and took lines off the tanker truck and hit the fire hard and fast, cooling the propane tank and knocking down the flames in less than five minutes. Hinds said firefighters spent the most time removing burned debris from the top of the porch. The furnishings, including the grill on the deck, trees and shrubbery and other property was damaged, estimated in the low thousands of dollars. The home was not damaged and the main beams and carrying units of the deck weren’t damaged so it can be repaired. Mainly the rails and deck itself were burned.
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