Trenton firefighters survey the damage on a 35- to 40-foot mussel dragger that caught fire while moored in the harbor early Thursday morning. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TRENTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT

Mussel dragger catches fire in Trenton

TRENTON — A Thursday morning fire claimed a portion of a mussel dragger that was moored in the harbor here, according to Trenton Fire Chief Steve Heckman.

How the 5:45 a.m. fire started may be a mystery.

“It may be something with the electrical or the batteries,” Heckman said. “There’s absolutely no way to know that.”

“When we got there, the boat was offshore about 100 yards,” Heckman said.

Trenton crews were going to put the department boat in the water, but the owner of the mussel dragger showed up with his skiff and took two firefighters out to the burning vessel.

“We got it off the mooring and were able to bring it into shore, so we were able to start suppression,” Heckman said. “If not, then it would have burned to the water line and become a huge environmental issue. Kudos to the owner and my two firefighters.”

“They were able to push the boat to the sea plane ramp,” he said. The tide was on its way out, so the boat was beached on shore, which made suppression easier.

Firefighters were able to leave the scene around 10 a.m. but returned a bit later to make sure there weren’t any lingering hot spots, Heckman said.

“Then there was the subsequent work of cleaning all the equipment,” the chief said. “Most of the members didn’t get out of the station until 12 or 12:30.”

A salvage company got the vessel on the back of a tractor around 3 p.m. to haul it away.

The Maine Marine Patrol was on scene along with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Lamoine Fire Department assisted, as did the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport fire crew.

Heckman wasn’t sure of the boat owner’s name.


Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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