Cardboard boxes located too close to dryer vent caused laundry fire

Thomaston Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Leo inspects damage done from a Friday fire.
Stephen Betts | BDN
Thomaston Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Leo inspects damage done from a Friday fire.
Posted June 20, 2014, at 12:54 p.m.
Last modified June 21, 2014, at 8:04 a.m.

THOMASTON, Maine — A fire Friday morning heavily damaged a building residents of an apartment complex use to do laundry.

There were no injuries, but the town department called in the state fire marshal’s office to investigate this fire, which was the second one in town within a week. Officials determined the fire was caused by cardboard boxes and a wooden pallet that stored too close to a dryer vent in the laundry building at Greenfield Village.

Thomaston Fire Department Assistant Chief Jamie Leo said a contractor had been replacing storm doors and left the cardboard boxes the doors came in and a pallet at the back of the laundry building while the doors were being installed. A resident then used one of the dryers.

However, Leo said, because of the arson fire that destroyed a dugout at a softball field the night of June 14, he wants the state’s involvement to make sure there was nothing else to the fire.

The back of the building was burned, and there was significant water and smoke damage inside, said Bill Bird who is manager of the apartment complex in the Brooklyn Heights section of Thomaston.

Bird said it was fortunate there were landscapers working in the vicinity of the laundry at the time the fire occurred or it could have been worse.

The workers reported the fire at about 11 a.m.

The Brooklyn Heights Road, which leads to neighboring Cushing, was blocked and traffic was rerouted because of the fire. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office assisted Thomaston police with redirecting traffic.

Rockland firefighters assisted Thomaston’s crew.

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