Winslow Fire Chief Ronnie Rodriguez inspects a garage door after a fire Thursday night on South Pond Road in Winslow. The building, home to J&J Auto Garage, and much of the equipment were damaged beyond repair, authorities said. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WINSLOW — An auto repair garage and most of the machinery it contained were damaged beyond repair by a fire that began at a furnace, authorities said Friday.

There were no injuries and no buildings were nearby were in danger, but a canvas carport sustained some damage, according to Winslow Fire Chief Ronnie Rodriguez.

“There was a lot of heat in this fire. The (steel) I-beams were warped and bowed significantly from the amount of heat,” Rodriguez said.

Firefighters responded to 35 South Pond Road about 7:15 p.m. Thursday. There was a “large volume of fire” at the J&J Auto Garage, Rodriguez said. Flames were contained thanks to a prompt response from firefighters and aid from other departments, he said.

“We all work together on these incidents. We’ve become accustomed to working with each other,” he said.

Mutual aid is necessary for fires because there is simply not enough personnel at any of the area fire departments, Rodriguez said. He noted that the Winslow department needs volunteers.


A firefighter carries a hose into J&J Auto Garage in Winslow following a fire Thursday that began at a furnace, authorities said. The garage is on South Pond. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“There’s just not enough personnel anywhere,” he said.

The fire was accidental, he said. The business is owned by Gerald J. Reny.

Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in an email that a furnace is seen as the cause of the blaze.

Winslow firefighters arrived with a tanker and engine loaded with 4,000 gallons of water between the two trucks. Crews then started shuttling water from a hydrant about 3 miles away, Rodriguez said.

Winslow was joined at the scene by firefighters from Albion, Fairfield, Oakland, Vassalboro and Waterville.

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