July 15, 2013

Crews from seven towns fight rail car fire in Topsham

Controlling the blaze at Grimmel Industries takes more than three hours.

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

TOPHSAM — It took firefighters from seven towns more than three hours to bring a rail car fire under control Sunday afternoon.

Topsham Fire Chief Brian Stockdale said a security guard reported smoke billowing from a rail car at Grimmel Industries off River Road around 1:30 p.m.

When firefighters arrived at the former site of Pejepscot Village they encountered flames reaching heights of 30 feet.

“Our biggest challenge was getting water in there and fighting the heat,” Stockdale said.

Stockdale called on several surrounding towns for help, a move that allowed him to rotate front line crews every 15 minutes. No firefighter injuries were reported and no one had to be treated for heat exhaustion. Tanker trucks brought water into the property because there are no fire hydrants.

The fire was contained to a single rail car, but crews were unable to leave the scene until 5 p.m.

Stockdale said Grimmel Industries processes and handles reclaimed materials. The rail car that caught fire contained recycled materials.

Firefighters from Topsham, Brunswick, Lisbon, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Freeport and West Bath responded to the fire.

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