Ferry Service Slowed for Several Hours Due to Sprinkler System Malfunction; Building Evacuated Briefly


Casco Employees Sold Tickets Outside the Terminal When the Buildling was Briefly Evacuated

Charlie (L) Waits With Gabriel Gordon to Board a Ferry to Little DiamondIsland in the 90 degree + Heat Yoga instructor Alison Kamar Waits in a "Long Line" to Board a Ferry

By Carol McCracken (Post # 842)

Just after 11 am today the fire alarm went off at the Casco Bay Lines terminal on Commercial Street and kept it up for am annoyingly long time – slowing down service for summer visitors to a number of islands off the coast. Crowds of people arrived during a heat wave looking forward to an island wedding at the Peaks Island Inn or just kicking back for a few days, none expected this inconvenience. The busy terminal was evacuated and tickets sold on the outside deck beside the ferry docking due to the quick thinking of several Casco Bay Lines employees.

Meghan Conley, operations agent, said that “one of the valves was leaking in the sprinkler system. That in turn set off the fire alarm. When the pressure drops, the sprinklers will go off.” The city’s maintenance department arrived around noon and were able to turn off the alarm system. Simplex Grinnell, who installed the sprinkler sysem, arrived later on and fixed the problem. Nicholas Mavodones, Jr., who is the systems manager for the Lines, was in telephone contact with Conley, who assured him it wasn’t necessary for him to be there. He is also the Mayor of Portland.

Two Munjoy Hill residents were caught up in the slow down although neither seemed concerned about the delay to their plans. Alison Kamar said she was “waiting in a long line to get a ticket for a boat to Long Island that is scheduled to leave in 3 minutes. I’m not nervous about it,” she said. Kamar teaches Yoga at the Heart Opening above OTTO’s pizza on the Hill. MHN.com lost sight of her in the crowd and doesn’t know if she made her boat. Gabriel Gordon and Charlie was headed to Little Diamond to visit his in-laws.

“I think we’ve had a very good response from passengers,” said Conley. “The staff has worked together to make this work. Thank heavens it’s not 105 degrees!”

Thank heavens it was only in the 90s! All was back to normal working conditions by 2:30 pm.

(editor’s note) mhn.com apologies for the obvious difficilties in labeling the photos.