SOUTH PORTLAND — Firefighters from South Portland and neighboring communities responded to a fire Thursday morning at the Hannaford Distribution Center on Hemco Road.

A refrigerated trailer parked at a loading dock caught fire at about 9:30 a.m. The fire was quickly put out, but the trailer was heavily damaged and flames appeared to have reached the exterior of the food retailer’s main warehouse building.

The building suffered little damage from the flames, but there is likely to be smoke damage inside, said Mike Williams, South Portland’s deputy fire chief.

“The amount of damage inside will be determined by their insurance company, but any product in there would probably be damaged or (is) no good to be sold,” Williams said.

Eric Blom, a Hannaford spokesman, said no one was injured and the building did not sustain any structural damage. He said the company doesn’t expect a substantial impact on operations because important parts of the facility were undamaged.

Some products were damaged by smoke, but it was “limited to portions of the warehouse,” Blom said without being more specific.


The distribution center is operated by Delhaize America Distribution, a division of Hannaford’s parent company. The center has about 750,000 square feet and serves 98 Hannaford stores, sending and receiving about 200 trailers a day, Blom said. Delhaize also operates warehouses for Hannaford stores in Winthrop and Schodack, New York.

Firefighters were dispatched about 9:35 a.m. to the warehouse, police said. Crews from South Portland and Portland were on the scene, and the Cape Elizabeth Fire Department provided station coverage. By 10:15 a.m., firefighters were cleaning up the scene, and the trailer that was once backed up to the building had been towed farther away. Crews were still clearing smoke from the building late Thursday morning.

The refrigerated trailer units use small engines to generate cooled air. It was unclear what fuel the engines use.

The fire was located close to an entrance in the back of the building near Pleasant Avenue. After the fire was out, more than 20 tractor-trailers were lined up waiting to get into the facility.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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