NORTHEAST HARBOR, Maine — The acrid stench of burning plastic and construction materials from another structure fire wafted through the streets of Northeast Harbor on Friday, one week after flames claimed a local Main Street restaurant.
A home and an attached garage about one block away from last week’s fire were gutted Friday but no one was hurt, according to Mount Desert Fire Chief Mike Bender. He said that a man who was renting the home told local officials the fire started after he plugged in a drinking water cooler.
Bender stressed that the fire investigation had not yet begun and that the tenant’s hypothesis of how the fire started had not been confirmed.
The house, at 23 Maple Lane, is the fifth building in Northeast Harbor’s densely packed village to be consumed by fire since last summer. The other four were commercial buildings on Main Street.
The Tan Turtle Tavern was gutted by fire on Jan. 23, after plumbers had been working to repair pipes in the restaurant that had frozen from recent sub-zero temperatures. The state Fire Marshal’s Office said this week they believe the fire was started accidentally by the plumbers, who had been in the building earlier that day.
Last July, three other Main Street buildings went up in flames from a fire that broke out in the Colonel’s Deli & Bakery early on the morning of July 29. The bakery and art galleries on either side of it were destroyed in that blaze.
While firefighters from three towns worked Friday to put out the latest fire, carpenters could be heard working inside a new building that is going up where the bakery used to stand. Mark and Stephanie Reece, owners of the bakery, have said they hope to reopen by the end of June.