Officials to probe garage fire in Etna

Posted March 16, 2009, at 11:43 p.m.

ETNA, Maine — The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been asked to help pinpoint the cause of a fire early Monday morning that destroyed a two-story building being used for storage.

Firefighters from Etna, Stetson and Carmel were called out to extinguish the fire at 391 Stage Road, which is across the street from the fire station, at 2:22 a.m., Etna Fire Chief Walter Gibbons said Monday.

When they arrived, the building, which formerly housed an automotive repair shop and a store, was in flames, Gibbons said.

“All we could do was keep it contained,” Gibbons said, adding that firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to a building located about 75 feet away and to two vehicles about 50 feet away.

Crews were called back to the fire scene about 11 a.m. to handle hot spots that flared up, he said.

According to Gibbons, the building belonged to Wes Leighton of the Holden area and it was Gibbons’ understanding that the building was not insured.

Gibbons also said that the storage building, which contained supplies and equipment Leighton used in his insulation business, was the second building in Etna belonging to Leighton to burn down this month. The two buildings, he said, were less than half a mile from each other.

The other was a vacant house at the intersection of Route 2 and 143 that burned around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, March 8. Despite the efforts of firefighters from more than a half-dozen area communities, that building also could not be saved.

Gibbons said both buildings had electrical service when they caught fire.

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