Smoke and fire at Washburn & Doughty Shipyard

Posted:  Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 11:30am

A familiar call came through Lincoln County Communications to area firehouses around 11:10 a.m. on January 30. Yet another ventilation fire was reported at Washburn & Doughty Shipyard in East Boothbay.

Smoke plumed from the building, but had stopped as of 11:30 a.m.

Workers who had been ordered to evacuate earlier were able to reenter the building as of 11:55 a.m., and three of the four fire trucks had left the scene by that time.

Similar ventilation fires occurred in March and August of 2013.

This is the third time in the span of a year that excess dust and debris has collected in the vent filters and caught fire, officials at the scene said.

Washburn & Doughty Marketing Manager Katie Maddox said the shipyard installed a fire suppression system in the vents last August after the second incident occurred.

Boothbay Fire Chief Dick Spofford and his crew removed a smoldering filter from the premises. Spofford said that there are 16 filters that make up the vent system and cigarettes and other debris inadvertently get sucked up into the vents and catch fire.

The scene was cleared by noon.