Fire destroys Searsmont sculptor’s barn, workshops

Posted Feb. 01, 2009, at 2:59 p.m.

SEARSMONT, Maine — A fire destroyed a prominent local artist’s barn and attached workshops Friday night.

The fire may have started in sculptor Stephen Porter’s woodworking or metal shops around 6:20 p.m., the artist said Sunday morning.

“My neighbor saw it,” Porter said. “He called me and said, ‘Your barn’s on fire.’”

Firefighters from Searsmont, Belmont, Liberty, Morrill, Montville and Lincolnville quickly responded to the neighbor’s emergency-911 call, Porter said, and worked for nearly nine hours to put out the blaze in the barn.

An ambulance from Searsmont Rescue also was on the scene but no one was hurt, according to officials.

“It was a total loss, no question there,” Fire Chief James Ames of the Searsmont Volunteer Fire Department said Sunday morning.