Fire Truck Fire Prompts Suit Against Mechanic

A fire that destroyed a fire department tanker (or tender if you are so inclined) in Union, Maine, has prompted a lawsuit by the town against the auto repair shop that had previously repaired the vehicle’s engine.

The tanker, a 1989 Freightliner, was destroyed on January 16, 2012 when it caught fire while enroute to Stone’s Auto/Truck Service LLC.  In late 2011, Stone’s overhauled the vehicle’s engine and performed other repairs that the shop’s owner, David Stone, said would extend the vehicle’s life by 10 years, according to the lawsuit.

About a month after being returned in service, firefighters noticed the truck was making an abnormal sound. Stone was asked to inspect it, but was unable to determine the problem.

On January 16, 2012, Stone asked the department to bring the truck back in and while enroute it caught fire.

The suit was filed yesterday in Knox County Superior Court. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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