OWLS HEAD, Maine — Following a court decision this week, the town will continue to negotiate with the owner of an auto repair shop in an effort to resolve the lawsuit he filed against the town, its fire department and its chief.
Cecil A. Fogg’s lawsuit claims the fire chief let his business burn because of a grudge over a car accident that happened nearly two decades ago.
The town and Fogg have been exchanging evidence in an effort to mediate the case but requested more time on Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court. An extension was granted until the end of October for the two sides to complete mediation.
Fogg and his company, Cecil A. Fogg Inc., are seeking more than $400,000 in damages for losses and an unspecified amount for punitive damages.
The town and Fire Chief Frank E. Ross have denied the claims made by Fogg.
The fire occurred on the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2013, at Frankie’s Garage on Route 73 in Owls Head. The fire began in an oil waste furnace.
Fogg claims in the lawsuit that when Ross arrived he was not in his turnout gear and went inside the building without his gear to look at the fire, then when he left, he left the door open, which allowed the fire to spread faster. The chief also did not have the proper equipment to hook up hoses to the nearest fire hydrant. He also refused to use spray foam or set up a dunk tank to battle the blaze, according to the lawsuit.
Fogg claims in his lawsuit that he and the chief were involved in a car accident in 1996 and that, unbeknownst to Fogg, Ross held a grudge over that crash. In the lawsuit, Fogg claims Ross said to him as the fire destroyed the garage that this was “for the accident.”
The garage has been rebuilt. Fogg said he lost equipment and classic cars and motorcycles.