ELLSWORTH, Maine — The Irving Mainway store on High Street remained closed on Monday after it was damaged this weekend by fire.
According to Ellsworth Fire Chief Jon Marshall, the fire started in an employee cigarette disposal area behind the store on Saturday. An employee noticed the smoke, he said, and went inside to get some water.
“By the time she got back, it was too big for her to handle with a small bucket of water,” he said.
Employees got patrons out of the building quickly and no one was injured in the blaze.
Firefighters were notified at 12:40 p.m. and it took them just 10 minutes to bring the fire under control, Marshall said. When firefighters arrived on the scene, flames had worked their way up the side of the building. Although the fire did not get inside the store, it did get into the foam insulation over some original wooden siding and destroyed the electrical entrance to the building.
Marshall said the underground electrical entrance will have to be replaced.
Although the fire did not cause interior damage, there was some smoke and water damage to the building. Crews were working to clean up the store on Monday, but Marshall said the city’s code enforcement officer and, because food is sold at the store, inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture, will have to inspect the building before it can reopen.