Propane heater blamed for Falmouth fire that destroyed 8 antique cars

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FALMOUTH — Firefighters said a blaze that destroyed a three-bay garage and the antique cars parked inside was probably caused by a propane space heater.

On Feb. 2 at 12:43 a.m., the Falmouth and Westbrook fire departments responded to a call from a homeowner reporting a glow coming from his garage on Balsam Lane.

According to Falmouth Fire Chief Howard Rice, firefighters arrived 10 minutes after the call and the garage was completely engulfed in flames. The home, which was 75 feet away from the garage, was not badly damaged in the fire.

“The fire was hot enough the picture window on the house cracked,” Rice said.

Because the closest fire hydrant was 3,000 feet away, firefighters initially used a 5,000-gallon water tank installed on the premises and two fire truck tanks until a water line to the hydrant on Brookside Drive could be established.

“Within 10 minutes we’d used all the water in that tank and the two trucks,” Rice said.

All eight cars in the garage were destroyed, including Model A and Model T Fords and a Jaguar, Rice said.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or