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Fire at Washburn & Doughty

Ventilation system damaged
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 6:15pm
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Area town fire departments responded to a fire at Washburn & Doughty around 5 p.m., March 11. RYAN LEIGHTON/Boothbay Register
Area town fire departments responded to a fire at Washburn & Doughty around 5 p.m., March 12. RYAN LEIGHTON/Boothbay Register

A fire in the ventilation system at Washburn & Doughty Shipyard burned hot for a while, but was extinguished within 30 minutes, Boothbay Fire Chief Dick Spofford said.

Spofford said the March 12 fire was accidental and would be investigated internally unless shipyard officials wanted to call in the fire marshal.

“We’d been there a few times before for the same thing and it wasn’t anything much. But when a neighbor called Lincoln County Communications reporting flames, we thought this time might be different,” Spofford said. “I saw the smoke when I arrived about five minutes after the call came in at 5:30.”

Because flames were reported at the scene, mutual aid from all towns on the peninsula were called to the scene.

Employees standing outside said they had just finished work at 5:25 p.m. and had begun putting their tools away to get ready to leave for the day.

And then the fire alarm sounded.

Spofford said eight to 10 firefighters entered the building. The fire was in the center of the metal cylinder that holds filters for the ventilation system.

“It was hard to get at,” Spofford said. “I was concerned because [firefighters] had to go climb 30 feet or more to reach it. You have to really pay attention to what you’re doing.”

The scene was cleared just after 7 p.m.