ROCKLAND, Maine — A Maritime Energy truck carrying 300 gallons of oil caught fire Thursday afternoon on Waldo Avenue in Rockland.
Driver Gleason Peabody used two fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire. No one was injured.
By the time the Rockland Fire Department arrived, the fire had been extinguished, according to Assistant Fire Chief Mikial Mazzeo.
“He [the driver] found something that was glowing bright red underneath the truck. He did not see actual flame or smoke, but could smell something burning,” Mazzeo said. “He used two fire extinguishers on it and that stopped the problem. We were on our way at that point; he had already put it out.”
Maritime Energy Vice President Susan Ware said a fuse had short-circuited, which may have caused the fire.
Ware said this type of incident is rare. She said the company’s mechanic for 25 years told her he has never seen a situation like this.
The company had the truck towed to the garage to be repaired.
“It could have been really bad,” said firefighter Chris Whytock. “An oil fire? It would not have been fun. It was next to the ocean.”
Whytock said the oil was well contained, and the fire probably would have been limited to the engine compartment.
The firefighters checked the truck with thermal imaging cameras and found no remaining fire. They disconnected the vehicle’s battery to avoid sparks.
Whytock said that probably a piece of plastic underneath the truck had caught fire.
There was minimal damage to the truck, Ware said.
“There was no other damage to the truck, truly because of our driver’s response to the situation,” she said.
Continuing to praise Peabody’s actions, Ware said, “Some people would have run away from a truck like that.
“He’s a hero,” she said.