MONMOUTH — When Fallon Richards and Eric Skidgell arrived at Skidgell’s uncle’s house Saturday, they could see black smoke pouring from the garage.

“I couldn’t tell if he was having a bonfire,” Richards said, standing across the road from 496 South Monmouth Road. “He yelled, ‘Call 911! It’s on fire!” Richards said.

The call came in at about 2:50 p.m., Saturday, bringing firefighters and first responders from Monmouth, Wales, Leeds, Greene and Winthrop to the property located west of the southern end of Cobbossee Lake.

Ed Pollard, assistant fire chief in the Monmouth Fire Department, said the garage, which sits a short distance from the home, was engulfed in flame and radiating heat.

“There were several cars in there and cars out back,” Pollard said. “He’s got welding equipment in there. It’s a typical garage. There were several explosions, you could hear tanks popping off.”

Pollard said from what he understands, the homeowner had been doing some welding, although he had not yet had the chance to speak to him.


Fire trucks ferried in water to a portable tank to fight the fire. After the flames were knocked down, firefighters continued to douse hot spots, and South Monmouth Road was closed down for more than an hour.

The fire was contained to the garage. Pollard said the heat from the fire melted siding on the back of the house and cracked some windows.

Richards said she and Eric Skidgell, her fiance, had come to visit her fiance’s uncle Saturday afternoon.

Town property records show the house and garage on 2 acres belong to Gary Skidgell. For tax purposes, the buildings on the property are valued at $121,300.

No one was injured in the fire.


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