April 07, 2020

Fire damages room at Howard Johnson’s

BANGOR — A room on the second floor of the Howard Johnson’s Motor Inn had heavy smoke damage Tuesday morning when a wall-mounted heater malfunctioned and ignited the plastic surrounding it.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Frank Dinsmore, the fire was contained to the heating unit. No one was in the room at the time, although it had been occupied the previous night, he said.

Dinsmore said the Bangor Fire Department received a call at 9:19 a.m. Upon arrival firefighters encountered “heavy, black smoke” inside the motor inn. He said crews had the fire out within seven minutes.

The hardest thing was “getting through the black smoke and finding the room,” said Dinsmore.

The assistant chief said the city’s electrical inspector would check out the heaters in the other rooms.

He said firefighter Chris McKenna was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after he cut his finger trying to remove the wall heater. After receiving stitches, McKenna was back on duty that afternoon, Dinsmore said.

The cause of the malfunction was still under investigation Tuesday afternoon, according to Dinsmore.

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