Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
CLOSE CALL — Houlton Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Tingley uses a dry chemical extinguisher to help douse flames at the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians former health center May 8. The fire was ignited when an electrical meter pulled away from the building, causing it to arc.
By Joseph Cyr
HOULTON — A structure fire on the afternoon of May 8 resulted in just minor damage thanks to the quick action by members of the Houlton Band of Maliseets.
According to Houlton Fire Chief Milton Cone, a report of a structure fire at the former Maliseet Health Center was called in at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. A farmer spotted smoke coming from the building and reported it to authorities. The building was no longer occupied, but used for storage, Cone said.
By the time firefighters arrived on scene, members of the Maliseets had already doused some of the flames with extinguishers. Houlton Firefighters had to wait for Houlton Water Company to arrive on scene to disconnect the power before spraying water on the building.
Damage was limited to just the entryway to the building, Cone said.
“We were very fortunate for the fast actions of the tribal members who initially knocked down the flames,” Cone said. “There were a lot of factors that could have made this much worse. It was very windy and the ground is extremely dry right now.”
Cone said those members of the Maliseets who initially tackled the flames were also very fortunate to not be injured by the electrical lines.