ST. GEORGE — A fire that destroyed a waterfront home was likely caused by a generator used to power the residence following the gale that darkened much of Knox County.

St. George Fire Chief Michael Smith said the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the origin of the fire was a generator located outside the garage at the home of Bernard Davis Jr.

The fire was reported shortly in the afternoon Oct. 17 on Tyler Lane located at the end of the Clark Island Road.

The six-car garage was flattened in the fire and the second floor of the home was destroyed by fire. The kitchen and living room on the lower level did not get destroyed by the fire but the chief said that the house is not salvageable.

Davis and his dog were home at the time but were able to get out without injury.

The home is located across the street from the Craignair Inn. The fire chief said the Craignair owners rushed over with fire extinguishers when they spotted the fire but the heat was too intense. The chief said they and several other neighbors called 911 to report the fire.

Electrical power had been knocked out earlier that day through much of coastal Maine from a powerful storm that had wind gusts of 60 miles per hour.

Fire Departments from multiple towns including St. George, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Cushing, Rockland, Camden, Union, Owls Head, Appleton and Warren, responded to the fire. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office was also at the scene.

Two fire trucks, one from St. George and one from Owl’s Head, collided while responding to that fire.

Two firetrucks collided in St. George while en route to a fire on Oct. 17. Stephen Betts/Courier-Gazette

Russell Hallock, 56, of Owls Head who was a passenger in the Owls Head truck was taken initially to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and then flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to the trauma center in Portland with what were called serious injuries. Owls Head Fire Chief Frank Ross said Hallock was released early Friday, Oct. 18.

The drivers of the two fire trucks — Donald Pierce, 64, of Owls Head; and Keith Miller, 65, of St. George, were taken to Pen Bay with minor injuries and released.

Ross said that the department’s mini-pumper truck is considered a total loss. He said he is waiting for the insurance company to inform him on how much will be paid to the town.

The cost of replacing the truck is estimated at $500 thousand, he said. The truck was a 1990 model but only had nine thousand miles on it. He said many of those miles came from the trip up from Pennsylvania where the town acquired it.

A second Owls Head fire truck is down with a transmission problem, he said.

St.George Fire Chief Smith said St. George’s truck can be repaired.

The preliminary investigation by the Sheriff’s Office found that the St. George truck was traveling north on Clark Island Road with emergency equipment activated heading to a water supply station. The Owls Head truck was heading south, also with emergency equipment activated, returning to the fire scene with water.

The fire trucks came upon each other in the area of the Mill Creek Road intersection, which is on a corner. A car had pulled over to the side of the road as much as possible but the narrow road has no shoulder so the vehicle was in the northbound lane.

The trucks tried to avoid each other but the St. George truck’s brakes locked and the rear driver’s side corner of the truck struck the front driver’s side corner of the Owls Head truck. The St. George truck went off the road and partially into ditch while the Owls Head truck went off the road and rolled onto its passenger side.

 

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