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Firefighters responded to a small fire caused by a malfunctioning generator vent at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, Thursday morning, Deputy Fire Chief Mike Nixon said.

Around 10:40 a.m., firefighters arrived and saw smoke coming from the roof of a side building that houses the hospital’s generators, Nixon said.

The fire was determined to be coming from one of the vents that help exhaust the heat created by the generators so they don’t overheat. The vent malfunctioned, and a small fire developed, which lit the combustible materials on the roof of the building, Nixon said.

Firefighters had a tough time getting to the source of the fire as they had to pull back layers of the roof, including rubber and metal, to get to the source fire underneath, Nixon said.

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“It took us about half an hour to 40 minutes to peel everything back, but we kept it contained the whole time,” he said.

The fire was extinguished by 12:30 p.m., he said.

While the generator building is attached to the main hospital, the fire was not in a patient care area, so no patients were evacuated, Nixon said.


Maria Lovato can be reached at maria.lovato@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.