Firefighters respond to wood stove fire in Orland

ORLAND — Firefighters from the Orland, Penobscot and Bucksport fire departments responded to a wood stove fire at Duffy’s Restaurant on Acadia Highway Saturday night. Thanks to the quick actions of the restaurant owners, the fire was already out by the time firefighters arrived.

“The owners took extinguishers and knocked it down,” said Orland Fire Chief Bobby Conary. “We were there about an hour. It was mostly overhaul.”

In firefighting, overhaul means opening up the walls and ceilings of a building to make sure the fire didn’t spread to unseen places. Conary said that, in general, walls immediately surrounding wood stoves must be built out of fireproof cement boards. This particular wood stove fire was so strong that, while the cement boards surrounding the stove did not catch fire, they got hot enough to damage the fiberboard behind it.

Conary said the fire was probably caused by a sweatshirt that the building owners had hung up to dry over the stove. At some point the sweatshirt fell behind the stove and caught fire. Luckily, the owners were outside snow blowing and quickly detected the fire.

“They were fortunate to be right there snow blowing,” Conary said, adding that the damage to the walls surrounding the stove was “pretty minor compared to what it could have been.”

The fire was put out so quickly that Conary had to tell the Bucksport and Penobscot fire crews to turn back. He was encouraged by the quick response from three separate departments.

“Pretty good response considering it was pretty cold and snowing,” Conary said.

With more snowstorms predicted later this week, Conary advised residents to keep their stoves clear and their vents clean to prevent fires.

David Roza

David Roza

David grew up in Washington County, Maryland, has reported in Washington County, Oregon, and now covers news in Hancock County and Washington County, Maine for The American and Out & About.