Small electrical fire at Old Town Circle K shuts down gas pumps

Posted Jan. 15, 2013, at 7:37 p.m.

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OLD TOWN, Maine — A small electrical fire at an Old Town convenience store could have been worse Tuesday if not for an alert store employee who deactivated gasoline pumps.

Old Town Fire Lt. Matt Redding said crews were sent to the Circle K at 380 Main St. around 2:45 p.m. to deal with a small fire in a breaker box.

Redding said “the draw of electricity caused one of the breakers to arc” while a customer was pumping gas, prompting an employee to hit the emergency shutdown switch for the pumps.

“When we got there there was no more arcing, just some haze in the building,” Redding said.

By the time firefighters arrived, store personnel had evacuated the building, and no customers were present at the gas pumps, Redding said.

Redding added it’s rare his department fields such calls, but firefighters were taking no chances.

“We’re just going to label it as an electrical circuit malfunction,” he said. “We usually don’t have any problems with the gas pumps.”

Redding said the Circle K employee “did the right thing” by calling 911 immediately and shutting down the gas pumps, preventing a possible disaster.

The lieutenant said the scene was cleared by 3:30 p.m. The store is open for business.

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