DOVER-FOXCROFT — Vandals wreaked havoc in Dover-Foxcroft over the past several days — from setting a fire in the former Moosehead Manufacturing Co. plant to filling a business owner’s heating fuel tank with water.
Over the weekend, vandals broke into the town-owned Moosehead plant and set a fire on the second floor of the vacant building, Dover-Foxcroft Police Chief Dennis Dyer said Tuesday. Dover-Foxcroft police Officer Charlie Edgerly found the fire, which apparently had extinguished itself, while he was on his patrol. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
On Monday night, the vandals took a garden hose from Dr. John Clark’s dental business in Monument Square next to the Moosehead plant, placed it in his fuel tank filler and turned on the water, Dyer said. The water flooded Clark’s fuel tank sending its contents throughout the cellar and ground causing extensive damage, he said.
“It is real serious and they don’t realize how much money that’s going to be involved, especially the repair of Dr. Clark’s building. We’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars here,” Dyer said.
Because the spill involved fuel oil, the Department of Environmental Protection was called and was at the scene Tuesday.
Thomas Smith, DEP Oil and Hazardous Materials Specialist III, said Tuesday that about 150 gallons of fuel oil was in the tank when the incident occurred. The cellar has a drain that ends in the rear of Clark’s property about four feet below ground. Because Clark has town water and town sewer, the contaminated soil will be left alone for now.
“We’re not going to do anything to remove that soil at this time because there’s no pressing environmental need to,” Smith said. Should an issue arise later, the soil will need to be removed, he said. He said the DEP and Phillip Services of Bangor removed debris from Clark’s basement and separated the oil debris from the nonoil debris.
Clark said Tuesday he had no estimate of the damage, but is aware he is expected to pay for the DEP’s response and any remediation work required. He said he has submitted the claim to his homeowner’s insurance.
The damage to his cellar was extensive, Clark said. There were boxes of papers on shelves, equipment such as a computer, and furniture stored in the cellar, which were ruined, he said. In addition, the spill will cause him to be out of business for at least two days, he said.
“It’s senseless,” Clark said. “Who would do it, what do you get out of this?”
At the Moosehead plant, Dyer said the vandals had broken most of the windows in the basement and on Friday night, the vandals opened a second-story window and they threw furniture tacks onto Main Street. One woman reported that her vehicle’s tires had picked up some of the tacks, according to Dyer. Water bottles that had been stored in the building also were broken.
Clark’s property and the Moosehead plant haven’t been the sole targets of vandals. Someone keyed three vehicles at the Prouty Ford dealership on Summer Street and spray-painted several privately owned road construction vehicles that were parked on the old railroad bed.
Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around these businesses in recent days or who may have information about the incidents is encouraged to contact the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department at 564-8021. All calls will be kept confidential.