The company that owned a Monmouth warehouse leveled by an explosive fire in May is facing more than $15,000 in fines for violating safety regulations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Sabattus-based AD Electric Inc. for violations ranging from failure to provide proper equipment to neglecting employee training.

Karen Billups, OSHA’s assistant area director, said the fines are all connected to the investigation the agency conducted after the fire.

Andrew Deditch, who owns AD Electric, did not return calls seeking comment.

One person was injured in the May 5 fire that destroyed the storage building on South Monmouth Road, reportedly taking with it more than $1 million worth of inventory.

The building at 235 South Monmouth Road, a 400-foot barn once used to house chickens, was leveled in the fire, which caused a number of thundering explosions that echoed across the valley. Clouds of thick, acrid black smoke were reportedly visible from as far away as the State House in Augusta.


Crews from nine departments across the region, including Leeds in the west and Bowdoinham in the east, as well as Sabattus, Litchfield and Wales, were called to help douse the fire, which was still burning more than two hours after it started. The fire knocked out power to hundreds of people.

AD Electric employee Jeff Quinn, one of three people working around the building when the fire broke out, said one employee was taken to the hospital with burns to his arms and upper body before firefighters arrived.

Monmouth Assistant Fire Chief Ed Pollard said the injured employee to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston and then transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland with second and third degree burns.

Neither the company nor fire officials have identified the injured employee, commented on his injuries or his recovery since the fire.

Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the state fire marshal’s office, said shortly after the blaze that investigators determined that the fire was sparked by accident as an employee used a bucket truck to weld the top of a temporary traffic light like those used at road construction sites.

Grimes said a hydraulic line that raises and lowers the bucket let go, spraying hydraulic fluid. Sparks from the welding ignited the fluid. Flames spread to the truck and building as the employee quickly lowered the bucket and jumped to safety, but not before being burned.


The fire sparked the OSHA investigation and a cleanup by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Spokesman David Madore said at the time that the DEP’s Emergency Response Team was at the site shortly after the fire was extinguished.

Quinn, the AD Electric employee, said at the time of the fire that there were about 700 gallons of oil in the building.

Madore said the oil was the biggest concern.

Absorbent booms were visible the day after the fire in a drainage ditch that ran in front of the property. Madore said at the time that crews would learn whether there were any other problem materials once the cleanup began.

AD Electric Clean Harbors to clean up the area.

Madore said recently that the cleanup after the fire included the removal of petroleum contaminated soil.


“No further action is anticipated by the DEP,” Madore said in a statement. “The department has not issued a fine against AD Electric in regards to this incident.”

OSHA, however, found multiple violations during its investigation, Billups said. The agency determined AD Electric failed to meet regulations on several fronts, including a lack of proper fire extinguishing equipment, failure to provide employees respiratory protection and failure to train a forklift operator.

Billups said all of the violations revolve around a lack of equipment and improper training.


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