Friday, August 31, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Firefighters Battling Suffolk Street Rockland Structure Fire

11:45am Update: According to Rockland Fire Department, Responded to the report of a structure fire on Fulton St. Upon arrival found fire sowing from multiple windows of the first floor of a three story two unit building. Fire was extending from the first floor into the second floor via both the interior stairwell and second floor window facing Suffolk St. The crew from A-shift, under the command of Asst. Chief Mikial Mazzeo, quickly stretched a hoseline and directed water into the first floor to reduce the volume of fire and heat, enabling the crew to quickly move inside and extinguish the bulk of the fire very rapidly. All occupants were reported to be outside, which was also quickly verified by firefighters searching the building. Crews from Rockport FD arrived very quickly as they were just leaving their stations from an earlier incident in Rockport. Camden’s crews, Rockland call firefighters and off duty personnel also quickly arrived and were able to assist the units onscene with opening up walls and ceilings to exposed hidden fire and ensure all hot spots were addressed.

It is believed that the occupant who discovered the fire very fortunately was awoken by smoke irritating his airway. Firefighters noted that they found no working smoke alarms present on any floor in unit. It is likely that proper smoke alarms would have given earlier warning resulting in less damage. It also appears the occupant, like a so many, was under the false impression that opening more doors would help limit dangerous conditions, when in fact the opposite is true. The contents involved in today’s residential are made of formed petroleum in the form of plastics or other similar fuels which reach their maximum temperatures much faster and therefore consume much greater quantities of oxygen. In dwellings where the openings are kept closed this rapid consumption of oxygen often leads to “under ventilated” fires which tend to quickly “choke themselves out” moving to the smoldering phase. Where this occurs a residential contents fire can actually put itself out by consuming all the available oxygen. So while conventional thinking would have people opening doors and windows to let the smoke and heat out; leaving and closing the doors behind you is the best course of action, even if there are other people still inside the building. Chances of survival are greater when the fire cannot grow. Even firefighters tactics have recently been updated to reflect the importance of controlling the airflow in building fires.

The rapid arrival of the duty shift along with Rockport firefighters just behind them allowed the crew to bring the fire under control very quickly. Having greater numbers of available personnel on scene quickly allows many more critical functions to occur simultaneously, and our mutual aid system again proved invaluable in ensuring Rockland firefighters were quickly backed up and augmented.

Cause is under investigation by RFD and State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Rockland, Camden, Rockport Fire Departments responded to the fire.

Call came in at 2:49am.

3:05am Update: Fire on first floor knocked down, lots of extension. 
BREAKING NEWS: Rockland, Maine - Multiple fire departments are battling heavily involved Suffolk Street structure fire on Friday, August 31st, 2018 in Rockland, Maine.

Everyone is out.

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