Cold Weather Poses Challenges to Firefighters Battling Thomaston RV Fire

An RV caught fire in Thomaston and spread to a garage early Wednesday morning, now officials are looking into what caused it. 

The parked RV caught fire around 3 a.m. at 65 High St. and firefighters arrived to find it engulfed in flames, according to the Thomaston Fire Chief Jim O'Neill.

The fire had also spread to the garage, but firefighters contained it before it spread to any other structures. 

"Upon arrival, we had heavy fire extending to the garage," O'Neil said. 

The possible explosion of the RV's propane tank created concerns for firefighters, as well as the toxic smoke created by the burning mobile home's fiberglass body.

High Street was closed between Sanford Avenue and Thomas Street, but the street has reopened. 

Joyce Davidson, of Thomaston, said she was awoken by the sound of an explosion. Many other residents said they weren't sure what was happening when they woke up hearing what they thought might have been explosives. 

"When I opened my eyes, I could see a pink glow coming through the blinds," Davidson said. "I saw the flames, a lot of flames."

She said she "was a little worried about what was in there and if it exploded how far it would go."

The cold weather posed a challenge for firefighters as water froze while they tried to extinguish the fire. Firefighters had to wear ventilation packs because of the RV, but the frigid temperatures interfered with the packs, so they had to call in mutual aid to switch out manpower more frequently, the fire chief said. 

"The biggest thing we had here was the cold weather and a problem with gear, equipment freezing, regulators and air packs freezing," O'Neil said. "That made it a little bit difficult to fight."

Extra firefighters were also needed because of the water freezing. 

Firefighters from Cherryville, Northfield and Watertown responded to help fight the fire. 

No injuries were reported and the fire was out by 6 a.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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