A fiery car accident early Tuesday on Maine Avenue in Farmingdale put firefighters in a position to respond quickly to a separate blaze a few minutes later at an apartment building in Gardiner.

Shortly after 4 a.m., a vehicle traveling south on Maine Avenue in Farmingdale struck the north side of the Maine Smoke Shop and caught fire, according to firefighters. The driver had apparently fallen asleep.

When firefighters who responded from Gardiner, Pittston and Randolph to assist Farmingdale arrived, they found the vehicle next to the building.

The Maine Smoke Shop sits on a curve on Maine Avenue, also known as Route 201.

As firefighters extinguished the flames and treated the injured driver at 4:33 a.m., they received report of a fire at a building at 36 Brunswick Ave. in Gardiner.

Fire trucks from the Pittston Fire Department were crossing the bridge spanning the Kennebec River, between Randolph and Gardiner, when the fire call came in, according to Capt. Nathan Sutherburg of the Gardiner Fire Department.


“Pittston was the first to roll up at the scene in Gardiner,” Sutherburg said. “We were still treating the patient for minor injuries and checking for fire extension in Farmingdale.”

The fire at the large apartment building by Gardiner, ignited by electric wires between the second floor and attic, was brought under control quickly by Pittston and Randolph firefighters as other firefighters were heading to the scene.

Firefighters douse flames early Tuesday after a vehicle crashed into the Maine Smoke Shop at 519 Maine Ave. in Farmingdale. Photo courtesy of Farmingdale Fire Department

“There was minimal damage and no reports of injuries,” Gardiner Chief Rick Sieberg said. “We were caught short-staffed because of the accident (in Farmingdale). But all the departments in the area function as one.

“Pittston and Randolph promptly responded to Gardiner — as we were working a fire in Farmingdale — attesting to the teamwork of mutual aid in southern Kennebec County.”

The driver in the Farmingdale crash was taken for treatment at MaineGeneral in Augusta.

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