THOMASTON — The investigation into a major fire at the Dragon Products cement plant is expected to take a long time, Thomaston Fire Chief Mikial Mazzeo said Wednesday morning, March 27.

Mazzeo said there was heavy damage to the three-story building that was ablaze when the first crews arrived Tuesday night. The fire was the most serious one at the cement plant in his more than 30 years with the department, the chief said.

There were no injuries.

An employee reported finding a large leak or spill of number 2 fuel oil on the floor which was flowing into a below grade mechanical area in the core building, Mazzeo said. In this area the fuel oil ignited spreading back to the leak origin and ultimately throughout the building, the chief said. The fire was stopped just as it was entering a laboratory and control room areas.

That section of the building was largely spared from fire damage, Mazzeo said.

The call came in at 7:28 p.m. He estimated more than 75 firefighters responded to the fire, which took more than two hours to extinguish.

Crews from Thomaston, Rockland, St. George, Rockport, South Thomaston, Cushing, Union, Owls Head, Friendship, Warren and Waldoboro responded. He praised the work of the firefighters and the Knox County Communications center which was dispatching calls to a chimney fire in Camden and other emergencies during the time of the cement plant fire.

Electricity was cut off for the area of the plant where the fire was located.

There was also a request for a large amount of foam to be available in the event it was needed.

Dragon Plant Manager Martin Turecky said Wednesday afternoon that no customers will be affected and distribution of cement is continuing. He said that the production line that mills down clinker into cement was not damaged.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection also responded to the incident because of the fuel oil leak but found no contamination of the grounds and did not issue a notice of violation to the firm.

Turecky said the investigation into how the fire occurred is ongoing and he did not comment until the cause was determined.

Crews responded to an electrical fire at the cement plant Dec. 17, but that fire was quickly contained.

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