Injury reported

Fire destroys former Magnum Manufacturing building

By Ben Holbrook | Jan 09, 2017
Source: Facebook Fire engulfed a commercial building on Route 3 the evening of Jan. 8.

Liberty — Fire destroyed a Route 3 business the evening of Jan. 8 and required multiple departments to extinguish.

The fire at Affordable Towing and Marine Transport, which was also the former home of Magnum Manufacturing on Belfast/Augusta Road (Route 3), was reported at 7:20 p.m. Departments from Appleton, Albion, Belmont, China, Freedom, Liberty, Montville, Palermo, Searsmont and Washington responded to the blaze and additional crews were placed on standby.

When crews arrived on scene, Liberty Fire Chief Bill Gillespie said heavy smoke and flames were coming out of the building. While on scene, the chief said five or more explosions rocked the building as oxygen tanks and other equipment overheated in the flames.

Two large propane tanks behind the building were also on the verge of exploding, the chief said, but crews were able to douse them with water to cool them down.

Crews had to pump water from nearby Lake St. George and shuttle it to the scene, which posed problems because of icy conditions. Also, the cold created equipment issues as air packs and hoses froze while firefighters were at the scene.

It was about 7 degrees outside when the first firefighters arrived on scene, Gillespie said.

Route 3 was shut down for several hours while crews battled the blaze.

Gillespie said a man who was at the property was taken to Waldo County General Hospital for treatment after suffering burns to his hands. Those injuries were not considered life-threatening, the chief added.

At this time, the cause of the fire is still unknown. Three vehicles inside the building and one that was parked outside were destroyed in the fire.

This town has seen its share of destructive fires in recent months. A fire destroyed a Millstone Drive home Dec. 14 and Peavey's General Store was badly damaged in November when a fire ignited in the bathroom.

Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal's office said investigators have been at the scene of the blaze all morning and are still working to figure out what sparked the fire.

 

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