Fire destroys Rockland garage; firefighters battled to keep propane tanks from exploding

Posted May 11, 2014, at 2:29 p.m.
Last modified May 11, 2014, at 8:29 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Firefighters from three communities battled flames and heat to extinguish a fire that destroyed a residential garage on Sunday afternoon.

The building was about 20 feet from two homes on West Meadow Road. Firefighters poured water onto several 20-pound propane tanks inside the garage to prevent them from exploding.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Mazzeo said the homeowner had been camping with Boy Scouts and had put the remnants of a campfire at another location, extinguished Saturday night, in a metal barrel. There were no flare-ups in the barrel and the owner drove the barrel home with no problem. The barrel was then placed near the outbuilding and apparently some embers from it blew out when the wind picked up and ignited grass and then the building, Mazzeo said.

There were no injuries, but bottled water was provided to firefighters who had to deal with the warmest day of the year as they fought the fire in their protective gear. The temperature was 73 degrees on West Meadow Road.

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No one was home at the time of the fire, which was reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. The property is owned by Bradford Benner, according to city assessment records.

Rockport and Thomaston crews assisted Rockland Fire Department. Water was trucked in from hydrants on Old County Road. Mazzeo said a lot of water was needed to keep the propane tanks cool.


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