A section of a major thoroughfare in Westbrook was shut down for about an hour during the Thursday afternoon commute after a passing motorist spotted smoke coming from a garage at 197 Main St.

Westbrook Fire Chief Andy Turcotte said a quick response by fire crews prevented the fire from spreading to an adjacent home.

Turcotte said the cause of the fire appears to have been some type of electrical malfunction. There was no one home when the fire was reported at 4:52 p.m.

Turcotte said the fire cause some structural damage to the garage, adding that it “caused more of a traffic issue than anything else.”

That section of Main Street connects Portland with Westbrook and its downtown. Traffic entering Westbrook from Portland and the Maine Turnpike was rerouted around the neighborhood.

When the fire department received the initial call, it was reported as a fire at a nearby car dealership.

The home at 197 Main St. is located across the street from Rowe Credit and is next to the Eye Care and Eye Wear Center of Maine. It is also located within a few hundred feet of the Westbrook Town Hall.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]