Tire fire on oxygen-filled truck forces brief I-95 closure

The northbound lanes of the Maine Turnpike were closed briefly Tuesday afternoon after a tire caught fire on a tractor-trailer loaded with oxygen.

The fire was reported shortly before 2 p.m. just north of the New Gloucester toll plaza. Northbound traffic was diverted off the highway at the Gray exit.

Oxygen is very flammable, so the tire fire presented a hazard, but the Gray Fire Rescue Department and neighboring agencies put the fire out quickly, said State Police spokesman Steve McCausland.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap was the first to report the fire, McCausland said, spotting it while he drove to visit polling places in various parts of the state.

The turnpike lanes were reopened within an hour.

Man surrenders to police after seven-hour standoff

A Limington man was in the York County Jail on Tuesday after surrendering to police at the end of a seven-hour standoff at his home.
State troopers responded Monday night to reports that Kevin Ridlon had been drinking at his Route 25 home and was threatening his girlfriend. She left the house and called police.

Nearly 30 state troopers responded, said State Police spokesman Steve McCausland. After 2 a.m., a negotiator talked Ridlon into leaving the house, and he was arrested and charged with criminal threatening.

No one was hurt in the incident. Ridlon, 29, was being held on $300 cash bail.

Apartment house receives heavy damage in blaze

A four-unit apartment building on Maple Street sustained heavy damage in a fire that broke out late Tuesday morning. The Limerick Fire Department said the fire, reported about 11:30 a.m., destroyed the building’s roof and greatly damaged the second floor.

No one was injured. An investigator from the state Fire Marshal’s Office was called in to determine the cause. Firefighters from Newfield, Cornish and Waterboro also responded to the fire.

Fire guts empty farmhouse; blaze deemed accidental

A vacant farmhouse on Route 127 was gutted by a fire Tuesday.

Fire Chief Chris Cummings said the rear section of the 21⁄2-story building was fully in flames when firefighters arrived around 3:45 a.m.
Cummings said the farmhouse is still standing but is seen as a total loss.

An investigator from the state Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the cause of the fire, which started in the basement, was accidental.
Firefighters from Arrowsic, Bath, Georgetown, Woolwich and West Bath responded to the fire. The farmhouse is owned by Bob Elwell.

Woman, dog escape safely from fire that razes house

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling a blaze that destroyed a home Monday.

Fire Chief Dennis Yates told the Sun Journal that about 30 firefighters from five departments fought the quick-moving fire that gutted a two-story wood-frame house. The fire was reported about 4 p.m. Monday.

A woman who was in the house when the fire started escaped safely, along with the family dog.

There was no immediate information on what caused the fire.


Two brothers to serve time for stealing items from mail
Two brothers are going to prison for breaking into the Levant post office and stealing electronic equipment and other items from parcels of mail.

Timothy Whitman, 27, and Todd Whitman, 23, both of Hermon, were sentenced Monday and ordered to pay $1,024 in restitution.

The brothers pleaded guilty in June to breaking into the post office in November 2009 and again the next month. According to court records, they opened a total of 55 packages containing iPods, a Blackberry, a Wii video game, earrings, candles and other items.
Timothy Whitman was sentenced to 14 months in prison, while Todd Whitman was sentenced to 24 months.