Firefighters from the Southwest Harbor Fire Department extinguish flames at a camper fire at 5 Trap Hill Road on Saturday. PHOTO BY MARYELLEN MARTEL

Firefighters respond to camper fire in Southwest Harbor


SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Southwest Harbor Fire Department went to investigate multiple calls of an unmounted pickup truck camper engulfed in flames on Trap Mill Road and found that a man had been injured in the incident.

 “We were dispatched for a camper that had exploded with unknown victims; however, when we got there, I didn’t notice any massive, substantial explosion,” said Fire Chief Tom Chisholm on Monday.

According to Chisholm, the camper fire was close to other structures, but firefighters on the scene were able to keep the fire largely contained. “The secondary camper behind the one on fire sustained damage. The structure had a little bit of smoke inside that we were able to ventilate quickly,” he said.  

Lawrence Peters, the victim of the fire, sustained burns on his hands and face. He was treated at the scene by the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Ambulance Service and was then transported to Mount Desert Island Hospital.

The one-alarm fire brought 14 local firefighters as well as two junior firefighters to the scene. Mutual aid was provided by the Southwest Harbor Police Department and Tremont Fire Department. “We had two pumper trucks, a pickup truck and our ladder truck was there,” Chisolm said.

The camper was a complete loss. Though the cause of the fire is officially undetermined because of the amount of damage, there is nothing State Fire Marshal Investigator John Wardwell found that indicates foul play. He said it is possible that this was an issue with propane being stored close to a heat source.

The fire was completely extinguished by 5:28 p.m. After they searched for other potential hazards, the Southwest Harbor Fire Department cleared the scene.

“Other than the particulars of the outcome and what transpired with the victim there, things worked out pretty well as best as they could. We always try to put something out before it gets bigger,” Chisholm said. 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

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