Portland Fire Department offers tips on putting out grease fires

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Portland Fire Department held a demonstration Wednesday to show the best way to put out a grease fire. Cooking equipment is involved in 40% of reported home fires each year.

There are two ways you can effectively put out a grease fire. You can cover it with a pot top, smothering the flames. You also can use a kitchen fire extinguisher if you know how to handle it properly. The Portland Fire Department says use the "PASS" system: Pull the pin, Aim at the base, Squeeze the trigger and Sweep from side to side. And no matter what you do, do not try to put a grease fire out with water. That will only spread the flames to other parts of the kitchen.

Firefighters say you should never leave a stove unattended, or cook while you're tired or after you've had alcohol. You also should keep flammable items like paper towels, dishcloths or pot holders far from the stove.

Safety tips spotlighted during Fire Prevention Week

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Portland Fire Department is trying to drive home some basic safety tips during Fire Prevention Week.

The annual awareness event runs October 3 to 9.  It is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.  This year's theme is Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With.

Lee Nelson talked about the safety campaign with Capt. Keith Gautreau from the Portland Fire Department.

Gautreau stressed the importance of being careful in the kitchen, because that is where most household fires start.  He said heating sources are another common origin point for fires.

Gautreau said safety equipment like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers can save lives and property.

Elect-mayor backers plan Maine news conference

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Supporters of the citywide ballot proposal to directly elect Portland's mayor are taking their case to the public.

The Portland Community Chamber and the Elect Our Mayor campaign are holding a news conference Tuesday in support of Question 1 on the city's ballot. It asks Portland voters if they want to directly elect their mayor for a 4-year term. Currently, the City Council selects one of its members for a one-year term.

Supporters say direct election of a mayor ensures accountability to voters, sustained leadership and a strong advocate in City Hall.

But opponents say the present system works fine and electing a mayor would cost taxpayers more at a time city services are being cut.







Maine Marathon attracts thousands

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The 19th Annual Maine Marathon kicked off Sunday morning and thousands of people hit the course.

3,500 people from across the Country registered for the race.

It all started at Baxter Boulevard in Portland and stretched along Route 88 to Yarmouth and included a marathon, half-marathon and walkers event.

Jeremy Alder of New York City defended his marathon title and Maine native Nick Wheeler won the half-marathon.

In the women's division, Jennifer Jorgenson of Glastonbury, CT took the title with a time of 3:00:55.  Katherine Marshall, from Bellaire, TX, won the half-marathon with a time of 1:23:39.

There was one wheelchair racer, Steve Kruger from Atlanta.  He finished in 4:15:19.

Police investigate Dunkin Donuts robbery

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Police in Portland are investigating a robbery at the Dunkin Donuts at One City Center Saturday night.

Officials say it happened just before 8pm when a short man in his 20's walked into the shop armed with a knife.

He was wearing a black knit cap, a white sweatshirt, khaki pants and a white bandana over his face and reportedly got away with cash.

If you have information about this robbery you are asked to contact Portland Police at 874-8575. 

Photographer not only a superfan, but also the team mom

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Jane Grabler's twin boys played for South Portland in the late 1990's, so she grabbed her camera to document their games, but once they graduated, she could not resist the allure of the sidelines.

So for the past dozen years, she has been at every game, home and away, camera in hand capturing the agony of defeat and glory of victory one photograph at a time.

"If you can get a good shot of them and it just gives them, 'Oh, look at me, that is an awesome picture,' that is what makes me happy," Grabler explained about her obsession.  "Just seeing their smiles on their faces and them enjoying their pictures, that's all that counts."

Firefighters are pretty in pink

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- You've heard the saying only real men wear pink, well Portland fireighters are wearing it well.

They will be for the next four days to show their support for the fight against breast cancer and other women's cancers as well.

They are selling T-shirts to raise money for that fight. They are also hoping that seeing big burly firefighters all in pink, will raise awareness.

Several other departments are taking part in this fundraiser as well, including South Portland and Brunswick.

The shirts are $10 each and all the proceeds go to the Maine Breast Cancer Foundation and the Maine Cancer Foundation.