A small fire that started in a Maine Avenue apartment Monday shortly before 5 a.m. was put out by the building’s sprinkler system.
Gardiner Fire Chief Rick Sieberg said the tenant in the third-floor apartment apparently knocked into a stove, turning on a burner that ignited some nearby paper products and caused a small fire up the wall, which activated the sprinkler head.
The Maine Office of State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire.
“Having that sprinkler system is like having the fire department in your apartment 24/7,” Sieberg said. “The amount of property and lives that can be saved by that sprinkler system is enormous.”
Sieberg said the Gardiner firefighters who responded turned off the sprinkler.
This is the third time in the last decade the sprinkler system has extinguished a fire in that building, which is located several hundred feet from the site of a fire in July 2015 that destroyed 235 Water St. and damaged buildings on either side of it.
Sieberg said damage to the unit was minor, and no other unit was affected. No one was hurt.