News Feature

Web exclusive, June 11, 2018
Passerby uses garden hose to help extinguish flames

by Faith DeAmbrose

A motorist is credited with not only alerting a sleeping family to an impending disaster, but for springing into action to help put out a fire in North Stonington.

Around 6 a.m., Monday June 11, Tony Hammett was driving on Route 15 when he noticed smoke and then flames outside the home of Richard Spencer. “A fire somehow started and burned a skiff, around 25 lobster traps and the back end of a lobster boat that sits beside the house,” said Stonington Fire Chief Ryan Hayward later that morning.

Ranger John Cousins of the Maine Forest Service aided in the investigation, said Hayward, but a cause was not determined.

Chief Hayward said Hammett stopped his vehicle and used a garden hose on the property to extinguish the flames, but only after waking the sleeping family inside with a directive to call 911.

The Stonington Fire Department was assisted by crews from Deer Isle and Sedgwick, although the bulk of the flames were extinguished upon arrival, said Hayward.

The departments were toned out at 6:15 a.m. and returned back to the station about an hour later. The skiff is considered a total loss, and the boat suffered minimal damage, but had not been in working order prior to the fire occurring.