ENFIELD, Maine — Quick-thinking firefighters likely saved a building and several vehicles when they pulled a burning sedan from a Main Road service station on Wednesday, Lowell Fire Chief Rick Smart said Thursday.
Enfield Citgo at 976 Main Road took minor damage to some siding and insulation, and the sedan’s engine compartment was heavily burned in the fire, which was reported about 7:45 p.m., Smart said.
“If [the fire] had gotten away from us, we would have needed all kinds of manpower and plenty of water,” Smart said.
At first Penobscot Regional Communications Center dispatchers alerted the Lowell Volunteer Fire Department to the vehicle fire, but then a few minutes later relayed that the flames were impinging upon the building, Smart said. With Lowell and Howland fire departments already en route, Smart said he immediately called for aid from Lincoln and Passadumkeag firefighters.
When Smart arrived, Lowell Fire Capt. John Herlihy was already there. Smart and Herlihy put a chain around the back axle of the burning vehicle and used Smart’s pickup truck to pull it away from the cars it was parked between, and the building, before dousing the flames, Smart said.
“I wouldn’t recommend doing that in any situation,” Smart said, “but in this one, I knew we had time because the flames were all to the front compartment of the car.”
Firefighters from Lowell and Howland removed siding and checked to ensure that the fire wasn’t smoldering in the building, while Smart canceled the call for help from Lincoln and Passadumkeag, he said.
An electrical short within the burning car likely caused the fire. About 25 Lowell and Howland firefighters assisted in dealing with the fire, Smart said.