An early morning fire Sunday consumed much of downtown Milo, destroying about half a dozen small businesses and displacing several families.
Everyone got out safely and no injuries were reported.
Fire crews from Milo and 10 other towns were called to Main Street to fight the fire, but they weren’t able to prevent it from spreading up Main Street. The wooden buildings were about a century old and so close together that some had common walls.
Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan said the fire was re-ported shortly before 3:30 a.m. and appears to have started at 26 Main St., in the building that houses Hobknobbers Pub.
From there, the fire traveled up Main Street, consuming the buildings that housed the Milo Flower Shop, the Game Spot and the Milo True Value Hardware Store.
The fire was stopped at a cinderblock section of the hardware store, just before the Milo House of Pizza. Though that building did not appear to have fire damage, Gahagan and other local officials said it likely sustained heavy smoke and water damage.
At least two of the buildings had apartments on their upper floors, including three units over the pizzeria.
Gahagan said Sunday that a dollar estimate for the fire losses was not immediately available.
Sgt. Ken Grimes of the State Fire Marshall’s Office said late Sunday morning that the cause of the fire could not immediately be determined because investigators had not yet been allowed to enter the buildings, some of which were still smoldering eight hours after firefighters began arriving at the scene.
Upon learning of the fire, Gov. John Baldacci released the following statement:
“Our first priority is always to make sure that we protect human life. Fire crews from a number of towns have responded to help fight this devastating blaze in downtown Milo. The State Fire Marshal is on the scene, and the state will provide any support that the firefighters need.”
“We will help Milo rebuild,” Baldacci said.