South Portland's Ladder 45, a 2018 Pierce truck that was damaged Tuesday when training firefighters accidentally hit a power line with its aerial ladder. Credit: Photo courtesy of city of South Portland

A $1.1-million South Portland fire truck damaged when its ladder accidentally struck a power line has not been determined to be a total loss, “despite rumors to the contrary,” the city manager said Wednesday.

South Portland City Manager Scott Morelli released a statement to update the public about an investigation into the Oct. 30 incident, in which firefighters testing the new truck hit a wire on Skillin Street, causing the vehicle’s right front tire to catch fire and forcing Central Maine Power Co. to temporarily cut off electricity to the area.

[South Portland firefighters hit power line with new $1.1M fire truck, setting it on fire] 

Morelli said city Safety Coordinator Lou Cavallaro has been heading the probe and a report could be finalized within the next week.

“The city will release this report to the public shortly thereafter, with portions redacted that could relate to potential employee discipline, pursuant to Maine law,” the city manager said in the written statement, which was just longer than one page.

“The city is still reviewing the facts around this incident to determine what additional steps need to be taken going forward,” he added. “This may include changes to our training protocols, safety policies, and discipline for employees involved, or any other actions deemed appropriate.”

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Morelli said city officials will meet with representatives from the Maine Municipal Association and the truck manufacturer to determine the scope of repairs to the vehicle and how much of the costs insurance will cover.

The city manager said South Portland’s insurance policy has a $1,000 deductible and could potentially cover the full replacement of the nearly $1.1-million truck, if it’s determined to be necessary.

Morelli indicated that the truck hasn’t yet been called a total loss.

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.