PITTSFIELD — Fire crews battled stubborn flames fueled by large, burning propane tanks Sunday night behind a business on Industrial Park Street in town.

Residents began calling the Somerset County Regional Communications Center just after 9:30 p.m. reporting fire and explosions.

Pittsfield Fire Chief Bernie Williams said Monday that no one was injured in the fires and they were not related to reports of similar explosions and fires in Kennebec County at about the same time.

The two tanks, about 1,000 gallons each, were located behind Walpole Woodworkers.

“On arrival, both tanks were vented and burning, and we set up a monitor to cool the tanks,” Williams said by phone Monday. The building and the wood products were not damaged, but the cost of the tanks and lost propane could be significant, he said.

Fire crews from Detroit and Hartland and Pittsfield police also assisted at the scene. Williams said a representative from the Irving heating oil and propane company, which owns the tanks, was also at the scene Sunday night.


One tank was empty by the time firefighters got the fire out, the other one had propane in it and fire crews “burned product all night” so they could move the tanks and replace them, Williams said.

Williams said the cause of the fire is not suspicious and was probably a mechanical malfunction.

He said the financial loss included the value of the two tanks, the product inside plus the labor cost of repairs.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367



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