April 07, 2020
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Fire heavily damages downtown Rockland business

ROCKLAND, Maine — A fire heavily damaged a downtown Rockland business Sunday morning. The fire at Redlon & Johnson heating and plumbing wholesale supply store was reported shortly after 8 a.m. by a passerby who spotted smoke coming from a basement window, according to Rockland Fire Chief Adam Miceli.

Fire was shooting out of the east side of the Tillson Avenue building when crews arrived and smoke was pouring out of the basement and eaves.

Crews from Rockport, Thomaston and South Thomaston were also at the scene, offering relief to crews that had to go inside the smoky 6,300-square-foot building at 65 Tillson Ave. Numerous air packs were being used for the crew.

Miceli said one firefighter was checked out after part of a ceiling collapsed on him. He was not injured but was jarred by the impact, the chief said.

Firefighters were being provided bottled water as they battled the flames and smoke under the sun of the first day of summer.

Rockland police had streets next to the building blocked off and Central Maine Power was at the scene to shut off power to the building.

Miceli said that the fire’s area of origin was near the electrical entrance of the building.

The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office is being called in because they have much more expertise on electrical fires if that turns out to be cause, Rockland’s chief said.

Thirty-five firefighters and at least 12 vehicles were on the scene. Crews were beginning to leave the scene shortly after 10 a.m.

The chief said this was the most serious commercial fire in Rockland since one at the Linda Bean lobster plant nearly four years ago.

The Redlon & Johnson building is assessed at $426,000.

Store manager Jason Upham said the company will try to set up a temporary office. He said he will be meeting with fire investigators and the insurance company.

He said the store would not be open Monday and was not sure when they would reopen.


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