I was sound asleep last night when the ambulance went by, lights flashing and sirens blaring. I’ve adopted the local habit of getting up to see where it was going. Looking out the living room window I saw a sky filled with smoke and the orange reflection of flames.
I immediately called a friend of mine on the hill and demanded she tell me it wasn’t her place. “Nope,” she replied, “it’s the old plant on Jacksons Breakwater.”
The first image is to remind you of the “before”. The last is naturally the “after”.
It took a few minutes to get down there (clothes were required) and I managed to catch the last of the truly dramatic scenes. It had been burning for a while before the emergency vehicles arrived – and before all the spectators got themselves out of bed.
Those fire engines onsite were a concrete example of international cooperation. Our two were joined by firefighters from both Lubec and Whiting. In addition there was a USCG boat from Eastport sitting right off the Breakwater just in case people needed to be evacuated.
Jeffrey brought the crews bottles of water and somebody else made coffee. The rest of us just stood around and watched.
Honestly there wasn’t a lot of work being done to save the wreck – I think most of the concern was about the houses nearby. There also wasn’t any discernable sadness at the loss of this *cough* landmark. It does have a lot of history attached to it, but watching it slowly rot away wasn’t something anybody enjoyed.
Fish and I walked down there this morning to see what was left. The answer, of course, is not much. A few flames still flicker in the ruins and the smoke is fierce. Luckily what little wind we have is blowing it offshore.
Now, I’m no structural engineer, but I suspect that what is left has been damaged enough that it will take only one of our winter storms to bring what remains of the building crashing into the water. I sincerely doubt anybody is going to try to remove the debris – certainly not in time to avoid it filling in that corner of the area behind the Breakwater.
People were, of course, speculating on the cause of the fire last night. The apparent consensus was that this is not an example of an “Act of God”. This morning the parade of Islanders driving by to see the ruins was slowed by the usual conversations in the middle of the road between drivers.
Finger pointing is a favourite hobby and names are being bandied about with no evidence or reason. It depends on who you like the least. 🙂
I, on the other hand, know exactly what happened. This my friends is a perfect example of spontaneous combustion. It is 2021 after all.